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‘Mongol’ is Great Summer Epic of ’08

July 25, 2008

By Margaret Menge, Florida Keys Keynoter, Marathon

Jul. 25–The thick of summer is the best time for an epic film like “Mongol” to hit movie houses. We’re slowed by the heat, and a bit dulled from the sun. We are primed for something grand to open up on the screen in front of us, and slap us awake.

“Mongol” opened in New York last month and is playing through July 31 at the Tropic Cinema in Key West. The movie, directed by Russian filmmaker Sergei Bodrov, tells the story of the legendary conqueror Genghis Khan, who united the hordes of Central Asia and created the second largest empire in human history. It is the first in a trilogy and begins with the early childhood of the boy called Temudgin.

Roger Ebert says in his review for the Chicago Sun-Times that “Mongol” is too bloody. Other critics say it’s too soft, aiming to humanize Khan to such an extent that the filmmakers expend more film showing him picnicking with his children on the Central Asian steppe than meeting his enemies on the battlefield. But there is little disagreement about the quality of the picture. Stanley Kauffmann of The New Republic compares scenes of Mongol invaders on horseback on the steppe (the great plains) to the magnificent scenes of the desert crossing in”Lawrence of Arabia.”

For movie times and ticket information, go to the Tropic’s Web site at www.keywestfilm.org or call 295-9493.

ALSO AT THE TROPIC: On Saturday, August 2, the writer and director of “Full Grown Men”, David Munro, will be making a guest appearance to talk about the movie, which stars Matt McGrath as a man who wishes he was still a boy. The movie also features Amy Sedaris and Deborah Harry in minor roles. About 6 p.m. Check the Web site or call the theatre at 295-9493.

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Copyright (c) 2008, Florida Keys Keynoter, Marathon

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