Saturday, January 21, 2012

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

Coriolanus (mixed bag): This film ran for one week at the AMC Lincoln Square back in December, but now it’s being released into more theatres. Shakespeare enthusiasts may enjoy this modern adaptation that preserves his dialogue, but it’s not an enormously compelling film.

I’m still catching up on last year’s late-breaking movies like “A Separation” and “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” so I haven’t yet had the chance to focus on anything like Haywire or Red Tails.

New to DVD

The Ides of March (recommended): This George Clooney-directed drama earned a handful of Golden Globe nominations. It features a strong ensemble led by Ryan Gosling, highlighted by great supporting performances from Evan Rachel Wood, Paul Giamatti, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, is close to being a very good political thriller, but it never quites reaches that threshold.

Now on Netflix Instant Streaming

District 13: Ultimatum (highly recommended): This ultra-cool French film is the sequel not to “District 9” but to “District B13.” It’s an action-packed, totally exciting movie whose characters utilize the art of parkour. It’s hard to find a film quite as thrilling and fun as this one.

Special Treatment (recommended): This French drama features spectacular performances from Isabelle Huppert as a prostitute and Bouli Lanners as a psychiatrist whose lives intersect as they’re both unhappy in their professions. It’s a very intriguing film that doesn’t quite come to a satisfying resolution, but it’s definitely an interesting ride.

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.

The Door in the Floor (mixed bag): This was one of the six films that I reviewed during my high school internship with Metrowest Daily News film critic Bob Tremblay way back in 2004. Kim Basinger's acting left much to be desired, as did this mildly intriguing drama starring Jeff Bridges.

Film Socialisme (mixed bag): This Jean-Luc Godard film was screened at the New York Film Festival in 2010 immediately following "The Social Network," so I stuck around. If you’re in the mood for a film that is light on narrative and big on experimental filmmaking, enjoy it, but you have to be in the right frame of mind to take something away from it.

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