Saturday, November 19, 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

The Descendants
(recommended): This somewhat light drama stars George Clooney as a Hawaiian businessman whose wife is in a coma and who has to figure out a way to put his life together. It’s somewhat slow to start, but gradually picks up the pace to become both compelling and entertaining by its end. Now playing at AMC Lincoln Square and Regal Union Square. Read my review from the New York Film Festival.

Happy Feet Two (recommended): This animated sequel is very similar to the first, and those who enjoyed the original will enjoy its follow-up film about as much. Brad Pitt and Matt Damon steal the show as two crustaceans thinking outside the box. Now playing in wide release. Read my review from yesterday.

I’m not sure exactly why I’d feel the need to start watching any entry from the Twilight saga at this point.

New to DVD

Beginners (highly recommended): This wonderfully endearing comedy features exceptional performances from the likes of Mélanie Laurent, Christopher Plummer, and Ewan McGregor, with a fresh script and beautiful style, currently ranking as one of my top ten films of the year. A must-see!

Griff the Invisible (highly recommended): This superhero film is the exact opposite of what “Super” was and does a marvelous job crafting a fun movie about a delusional man who thinks he’s a superhero. Ryan Kwanten from “True Blood” and Maeve Dermody turn in magnificently charming performances.

Larry Crowne (mixed bag): This film is exactly what the trailer indicates: a perfect movie for those who love stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts and have always wanted to see them together in a movie that wasn’t “Charlie Wilson’s War.” Unfortunately, it’s nothing more, so it’s highly forgettable but not a terrible way to spend 100 minutes.

Now on Netflix Instant Streaming

The Last Kiss (recommended): “L’ultimo bacio” is the Italian original on which the not-so-great 2006 Zach Braff film was based. This one is excellent, featuring wacky, deranged characters, a terrific script, an energetic score, and a great crazy performance from Giovanna Mezzogiorno. See this one!

Take Me Home Tonight (recommended): This 80s parody starring an actor formerly grounded in the 70s, Topher Grace, is harmless fun that’s surprisingly better than might be necessitated by this kind of movie. It’s enjoyable to listen to, and its characters are amusing enough that it’s engaging if not memorable.

The Birth of a Nation (mixed bag): This 1915 landmark film is considered a classic for reasons related to its cinematic importance, but its content – the triumphant rise of the Ku Klux Klan – isn’t terribly rosy. It’s a lengthy instance of old, groundbreaking cinema, but that’s about all it’s worth.

Bombay Beach (anti-recommended): This documentary from this past year’s Tribeca Film Festival doesn’t work at all, featuring what could be an intriguing premise warped by the entirely known presence of the camera and the focus of its subjects of its existence rather than the actual development of some thesis.

No comments: