A Pinch of Everything on Tropic Screens
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Key West Citizen
Spies, musicians, New Zealanders, fashionistas, and funny animals -- that’s the varied selection at Tropic Cinema this week.
Matt Damon returns as our favorite spy in the eponymous “Jason Bourne,” a James Bond for today’s harsh geopolitics. Bourne is still on a mission to uncover his forgotten past -- and Julia Stiles is on hand to help him. MovieWeb says, “‘Jason Bourne’ is a swift actioner that never lets up for a second. Whatever political statement it attempts to make is negligible under the action onslaught. Matt Damon hasn’t forgotten how to beat bad guys to a pulp.” And Filmink calls it “a continuation of a truly superior action franchise.”
“The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble” is as much an earful as an eyeful. This documentary follows the famous cellist along a musical trail from China to the Mediterranean in a celebration that features some 50 diverse musicmakers playing native instruments. Washington Post sees it as “an inspiring look at creative people from very different walks of life who nonetheless communicate beautifully with one another.” And Film International opines, “Music and cinema are both universal languages. I can't think of another film that blends the best of these audio and visual worlds into a most enjoyable adventure about mixed cultures and disparate lives that becomes the sum of much more than its parts.”
“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” gives us a delinquent Māori boy and a quarrelsome old outdoorsman (Julian Dennison and San Neill) who go on the run through the woods of New Zealand while pursued by an army of police and an overzealous social worker (Rachel House). Minneapolis Star Tribune describes it as “the kind of adorable, coming-of-age dramedy that Pixar would proudly create if it made live-action movies and not cartoons.” And Newsday tags it, “a lopsided gem full of off-kilter humor, hard truths and real emotion.”
“Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” is based on the hilarious British TV show about two over-the-top wags (again played by Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley). This time they’re hiding out in the South of France after accidentally offing supermodel Kate Moss at a fashion show. Cinemaclips.com tells us: “Based on the popular British television comedy series, this big screen version is an overblown barrage of jokes, sight gags and fashion.” And Patriot Ledger reminds us, “It’s what ‘Ab Fab’ fans have been waiting for ....
Still bringing a smile to the faces of all pet lovers, “The Secret Life of Pets” is an animated comedy about two pooches off on a misadventure while their owner is at work. Louis C.K. and Eric Stonestreet join a pack of celebs in voicing these cute city animals. ChristyLemire.com calls it “an incredibly simple yet irresistible idea for a movie.” And the Atlantic sums it up, “There’s something quietly therapeutic about spending 90 minutes with some nutty, heroic furballs on a hero’s journey with very low stakes.”
Yes, it’s a good week at the Tropic.