Saturday, December 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

I'm playing catch-up on movies that have come out in the past month or so that are getting nominated for awards, and my most anticipated new release this week, which I’m planning to see this weekend, is Zero Dark Thirty. I’ll also try to catch Amour and maybe On the Road when I have a chance. This is 40 and Jack Reacher would be on my list if they were released at another time, and I’m not sure The Guilt Trip would make it any point, though I may end up seeing it with other interested parties.

New to DVD

Arbitrage (recommended): This thriller earned a Golden Globe nomination for Richard Gere’s focused performance as a moneyman whose carefully-composed life is spiraling out of control. Gere is terrific, and the film is a strong, suspenseful drama.

10 Years (anti-recommended): This dramatic comedy, which played in theatres throughout September, is a messy compilation of broad character tropes and imagined romances among a group of adults coming together for a high school reunion. Some of the name actors are decent, but the film is entirely missable.

Trouble with the Curve (mixed bag): This Clint Eastwood starrer is actually directed by his former first assistant director, but it feels like a pale imitation of his far better recent films. It can't compare to last year's "Moneyball," and all of the actors have had far superior roles and performances. Look for my review tomorrow.

Now on Netflix Instant Streaming

The Assault (recommended): This dramatization of the 1994 hijacking of an Air France flight is, like “United 93,” a literal story-to-screen adaptation that doesn’t feature much filmic creativity, which is fine and makes for a powerful and relatively captivating experience.

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.

The Polar Express (recommended): I don’t remember loving this animated fantasy from director Robert Zemeckis when I first saw it in theatres in 2004, but it’s hard to deny the magical appeal of a flying train and a conductor played by Tom Hanks in an eerily recognizable animated part. It’s a good film for kids, and a passable one for adults.

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