Saturday, April 2, 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. Understandably, some weeks will have considerably fewer releases to address than others.

Now Playing in NYC

In a Better World (highly recommended): I wrote positive things about this film back in February before it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, and I’ll have a full review up tomorrow highlighting all its terrific components. Essentially, don’t take my word for it – go out and see it yourself. It’s well worth it, and I’d call it the best film of 2011 so far. Now playing at the Landmark Sunshine and Lincoln Plaza.

Super (anti-recommended): To learn that this film is playing at the same cinema as the above film is appalling, and I can’t fathom why that is. If you didn’t catch my review from yesterday, take a read and hopefully that can adequately convey how much of a horrific failure this film that could have been superb is. Please do not visit either the Landmark Sunshine or Clearview’s 1st & 62nd St theatre to see this movie. Please.

That’s all I’ve seen in terms of new releases this week. I’d love to see Source Code for its popcorn potential, so hopefully I’ll get around to that soon. Trust with Clive Owen looks intense and could be good, and that’s playing at AMC theatres in the city only, it appears. Cat Run is described in its press release as “hilariously violent,” which isn’t really much of an appeal. Have you seen anything good that’s currently out in theatres?

New to DVD

Fair Game and Made in Dagenham (both recommended): Two films that mysteriously didn’t receive any awards attention despite starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, and Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson, and Bob Hoskins, respectively. The former is a taut political thriller that both intrigues and entertains, featuring strong performances from both its stars. The latter is a light-hearted drama about a surprisingly little-known women’s union strike in the 1960s, featuring fun performances and some occasional moving serious content.

Tangled (highly recommended): One of my top ten films of the year somehow missed the boat in the Best Animated Feature Oscar race. While 2010 was indisputably the year of “Toy Story 3,” this should have been the de facto second slot holder, not “How to Train Your Dragon.” It’s an original, imaginative, and wildly enthralling take on a classic fairy tale featuring some great music and quality storytelling.

Black Swan (mixed bag): This was one of two films (the other was “True Grit”) that was bombarded with awards attention and just didn’t do it for me, which as a result garnered increased resentment from me as it won more and more trophies. It simply didn’t wow me like some of Aronofsky’s past films have, and I can’t quite understand why everyone loves it. Still, it was a Best Picture nominee, and it’s worth seeing if you don’t mind the risk of some truly terrifying nightmares.

All Good Things (anti-recommended): This Ryan Gosling film about an unhappy couple isn’t the one from 2010 that you want to see. It’s a very loosely and lazily fictionalized dramatization of what’s been deemed the “most notorious unsolved murder case in New York history” that spends altogether too much time wallowing in its own darkness to get anywhere productive. Not worth the time at all.

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