Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday Night Movie Recommendations with Abe

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies With Abe. Absent a wealth of new film reviews during the weekend, I’d like to start providing a handy guide to a few choice movies currently playing in NYC as well as several films newly released on DVD. I’ll also aim to comment on those films I have not yet had the chance to see, and I invite you to add in your thoughts on any films I haven’t seen in the comments below.

Now Playing in NYC

Another Year: How this film managed only one Oscar nomination, for Best Original Screenplay, astounds me. Lesley Manville delivered the performance of the year, and the rest of the cast was fantastic as well. With no DVD release date in sight, see this understated Mike Leigh film at the Angelika Film Center before it’s no longer in theaters.

Certified Copy: My review of this new film went up yesterday. For those who don’t like subtitles, it might not be the best choice, but it’s not hard to follow the fascinating conversation that happens between two strangers in English, French, and Italian. See it at the IFC Center or Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.

Of Gods and Men: I reviewed this one way back in September when I saw it at the New York Film Festival, and now it’s out and playing at both the Landmark Sunshine Cinema and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas. It’s #24 on my list of the best films of 2010, though it should really be on the 2011 list, where it stands as one of the strongest and most powerful movies released so far this year.

Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Both the live-action and animated shorts nominated for this year’s Oscar are still playing at the IFC Center. Two of the live action-shorts (“Wish 143” and winner “God of Love”) are definitely worth it, and though “The Lost Thing” definitely didn’t deserve the animated trophy, those five are pretty entertaining.

Rabbit Hole: Nicole Kidman’s Oscar-nominated performance wasn’t the only terrific element of this harrowing and moving drama, and I still can’t grasp why it didn’t get more attention. It’s still playing at the Cinema Village.

I admit I’m relatively behind on mainstream releases. I’m thinking about seeing The Adjustment Bureau (update: seen, and review will be up tomorrow!), Hall Pass, and maybe Battle: Los Angeles this weekend, and would also be interested, were there enough time in the week, to see Rango and Unknown. I’d also love to see The Human Resources Manager, Israel’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Film from this past year, as well as HIMYM star Josh Radnor’s debut feature Happythankyoumoreplease. I could live without Beastly, Jane Eyre, Just Go With It, Mars Needs Moms and Red Riding Hood.

New to DVD (Mar 1 – Mar 8)

127 Hours
: This Best Picture nominee didn’t ultimately end up winning any Oscars, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t deserve a few. It’s one of my top ten best films of the year, and don’t let a scene you’ve heard horror stories about stop you from renting the DVD and averting your eyes only when necessary.

Four Lions: This British comedy about dumb jihadists is easily one of the funniest films of the year, and if you’re outside of New York, it likely didn’t make it to your home theatre. Catch this hilarious and surprisingly smart film at home now.

Inside Job: This documentary, without competition from “Waiting for Superman,” easily took home the Oscar in that category. It deserved it too: in his look at the financial crisis and how we got here, director Charles Ferguson doesn’t let his interview subjects dodge difficult questions or get away with canned responses. Don’t miss this one.

I’ve heard great things about A Film Unfinished and had a passing interest in Morning Glory that resulted in me missing it.

For those with access to Netflix Instant Streaming, under the "New Arrivals: Movies" section, I can highly recommend Fish Tank, The Freebie, and Daybreakers, as well as documentaries Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, Rebel, and Freakonomics: The Movie.

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