Saturday, November 26, 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 Artist (highly recommended): This delightful black-and-white, silent film is wonderfully creative and entirely charming, using its antique form to excellent effect. French performers Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo are magnificent, and the film is fully entertaining from start to finish. Now playing at the Paris Theatre and the Angelika. Read my review from the New York Film Festival.

My Week with Marilyn (mixed bag): This film is most reminiscent of “Me and Orson Welles,” presenting a fleeting, inevitably doomed look at one bright-eyed young director’s experience with one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. The film presents intriguing turns from Michelle Williams and especially Kenneth Branagh as Laurence Olivier. The film as a whole is less satisfying and impressive. Now playing in limited release. Read my review from the New York Film Festival.

A Dangerous Method (mixed bag): David Cronenberg’s latest film hardly feels like something from the auteur, instead presenting a fairly straightforward history of Carl Jung and his involvement with Sigmund Freud and Sabrina Spielrein. Viggo Mortensen’s Freud is terrific, but the rest of the film leaves much to be desired, proving less than creative. Now playing at the Landmark Sunshine and Lincoln Plaza. My review will be up tomorrow.

I’m planning to see Hugo tomorrow, so more on that soon. I’m happy to skip The Muppets.

New to DVD

Super 8 (recommended): J.J. Abrams’ super hit is a great throwback to films like “E.T.” that focus on children and their fascination with extraterrestrial occurrences. It contains some terrific effects, makeup, acting, and action, and it’s a hugely enjoyable and engrossing picture.

Now on Netflix Instant Streaming

LOTR: The Two Towers (highly recommended): Arguably the best of the Oscar-winning fantasy trilogy, this second installment has plenty of action, plot development, and drama, and also includes, most importantly, a whole lot of Gollum. It’s a fabulous fantasy outing.

Elizabeth (recommended): This regal drama and 1998 Best Picture nominee features a powerhouse performance from Cate Blanchett and a handful of strong supporting turns from actors such as Geoffrey Rush and Vincent Cassel. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly enthralling.

The Romantics (recommended): This ensemble drama takes place on the eve of a wedding, and it’s interesting mainly for some of its supporting players, notably Adam Brody and Malin Akerman. Its leads, Katie Holmes and Josh Duhamel, are hardly as compelling.

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