Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Night Movie Recommendations with Abe

Welcome to a weekly feature here at Movies With Abe. I'm going to be 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

One Day (recommended): This romantic drama follows one couple for one day a year over the course of twenty years. That novel approach presents its advantages and its complications. The movie features great performances from Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, and ultimately proves to be quite moving. Now playing in wide release. Read my review from yesterday.

Griff the Invisible (highly recommended): This superhero film is the exact opposite of what “Super” was and does a marvelous job crafting a fun and compelling movie about a delusional man who thinks he’s a superhero. Ryan Kwanten from “True Blood” and Maeve Dermody turn in wonderful performances. Now playing at the Village East Cinema. My review will be up tomorrow.

5 Days of War (highly recommended): This film about the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia is a strong, harrowing war film which shines in its depiction of the horrors of war and doesn’t let up on its intensity all throughout. Now playing at the Angelika Film Center. My review will be up on Monday.

I haven't seen Conan the Barbarian, Fright Night, or Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, and I don't plan to make time for any of them.

New to DVD

The Bang Bang Club (mixed bag): It’s a fitting time for the home video release of this film about war photographs with the theatrical release of the similarly-themed “5 Days of War.” This one isn’t quite as good, unfortunately, but it does offer some thought-provoking contemplations on journalistic ethics and war.

The Conspirator (mixed bag): This film about the controversial trial of one of Abraham Lincoln’s accused assassins wasn’t nearly as hard-hitting as it wanted to be, mostly because it just isn’t interesting or well-done enough to merit attention. It’s decently worthwhile though, and slightly affecting.

Meet Monica Velour (mixed bag): This tale of a teenager who gets the chance to meet his beloved favorite porn star is pleasant enough but doesn’t quite make the object of its main character’s affection worthy of being adored or remembered. Kim Cattrall tries her best though.

Now on Netflix Instant Streaming

Tangled (highly recommended): This magnificent animated film is a wonderful reminder that good old-fashioned fairy tales can still be updated in fun and invigorating new ways. This is a simply wonderful movie that is definitely enjoyable for audiences of all ages.

Highwater (recommended): Any fans of surfing will be excited to see this documentary about the Triple Crown competition in Oahu, which is fairly straightforward in theme but still plenty eye-opening about an exciting and unusual community.

La Soga (anti-recommended): When this came out on DVD back in May, I cautioned: 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.

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