Saturday, September 22, 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 theatres 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

The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best (highly recommended): This offbeat dramatic comedy features superb performances from Ryan O’Nan, who also writes and directs, and Michael Weston as an unlikely band duo determined to succeed despite the world’s perception of them. Arielle Kebbel is excellent as well. Now playing at the Village East Cinema in NYC. Read my review from yesterday.

About Cherry (recommended): This drama about a young woman who moves to San Francisco and gives starring in pornography a try features a magnificent breakthrough lead performance from Ashley Hinshaw and a great supporting turn from Heather Graham. The film isn’t always as fast-paced or fascinating, but it has its moments. Now playing at the IFC Center in NYC. My review will be up tomorrow.

New to DVD

The Babymakers (mixed bag): This R-rated Broken Lizard comedy has the makings of a funny movie, but it doesn’t deliver the laughs by offering a relatively tame and unexciting story featuring affable enough lead performances from Paul Schneider and Olivia Munn.

Chico and Rita (recommended): This surprise nominee for Best Animated Film does a marvelous job capturing the romance and passion of the relationship between its two protagonists. It’s a movie explicitly for adults, highlighted by musical performances.

Detachment (highly recommended): This drama about education from director Tony Kaye is a harrowing, thought-provoking, strongly-executed film. Adrien Brody delivers a terrific lead performance, and is surrounded by a tremendously talented cast. It may be bleak, but it has an important message, presented via a fictional narrative. Also available via Netflix.

Octubre (recommended): This Peruvian entry for Best Foreign Film is the sober but eccentric tale of two remarkably diverse people attempting to figure out how best to coexist and locate the mother of a child whose father is unequipped to handle raising his daughter. Its pacing is slow, but it’s worth a look for fans of foreign cinema.

Salvation Boulevard (anti-recommended): This zany religious comedy goes downhill incredibly fast moments into its run, and doesn’t recover at any point after that. Jennifer Connelly and her onscreen daughter Isabelle Fuhrman are trying hard, but no one else gives much effort, which, coupled with a poor script, doesn’t offer a particularly meaningful experience.

Now on Netflix Instant Streaming

American Violet (mixed bag): This 2009 drama examines cultural and race issues and features a handful of well-known performers, but there’s little about it to distinguish it or make it memorable. Its themes are far superior to its execution.

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