Saturday, May 7, 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

Thor (recommended): is almost a guaranteed hit, putting one of the most well-known Marvel superheroes on the big screen for the first time in the run-up to the mega-blockbuster that will be “The Avengers.” It’s a terrific action piece, but make sure you get all your fun in during the first half since it lets up considerably and doesn’t deliver as much in the second hour. Definitely worth a watch though; 3-D not necessary but still cool.

Last Night (mixed bag): This film, which played at the Tribeca Film Festival, is at the Angelika Film Center, the Clearview Chelsea, and the Beekman this weekend, showcasing action star Sam Worthington and token romantic love interest Keira Knightley as a husband and wife both contemplating affairs on one fateful night. It’s a familiar story, and this is hardly a groundbreaking or terribly worthwhile take on the idea. Look for my review tomorrow.

I’m not a fan of Mel Gibson and I don’t really know what to make of The Beaver, but I like to see things before I judge them, so I may try to see this one. I’ve heard great things about Octubre and am hoping to watch that one soon.

New to DVD

The Green Hornet (mixed bag): I like the idea of Seth Rogen in any movie, and the trailer for this film was a blast, but the result is truly underwhelming. It’s fun, mindless entertainment, but hardly a worthy superhero story or action movie in its own right. Probably a good film to rent rather than to have seen in a theater.

La Soga (anti-recommended): It wouldn’t be accurate to call this Dominican Republic-based crime film messy since it’s actually rather neat; it’s just not believable and impossibly trite. Executing a criminal who’s just been arrested on camera in the first five minutes is not a good start, and this pale rip-off of “Animal Kingdom” just doesn’t deliver.

Now on Netflix Instant Streaming

Leaves of Grass (recommended): This film somehow never received the proper theatrical release and therefore was seen by almost no one. I’m glad it’s now instantly accessible, since any film with Edward Norton playing two roles is worth a look. This dark comedy is reminiscent of “A Serious Man” and features some truly incredible acting from Norton as two twin brothers, one a professor and the other a drug dealer.

Handsome Harry (recommended): This ensemble drama featured the strongest cast of last year and a truly compelling story. Led by Jamey Sheridan and also starring Steve Buscemi, Aidan Quinn, Titus Welliver, and Campbell Scott, this film is a serious, thought-provoking, complicated film that deserves to be seen.

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