Saturday, February 2, 2013

Saturday Night Movie Recommendations with Abe

After a few weeks off, welcome back 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 Gatekeepers (mixed bag): This Oscar nominee for Best Documentary interviews former heads of the Shin Bet, the Israeli Secret Service, with a decidedly critical slant. Most worthwhile because it reveals surprising opinions from important players, this documentary suffers from a clear bias in its construction. Read my review and interview with director Dror Moreh.

Stand Up Guys (mixed bag): This aging gangster movie unites three Oscar winners – Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin – and follows their adventures on one action-packed night in an uncreative, unmotivated film that is generally endearing but unexciting. Read my review and Q and A with director Fisher Stevens.

Warm Bodies (highly recommended): This hilarious comedy is a fantastic zombie movie parody that doubles as a zombie movie itself, featuring a top-notch lead performance from Nicholas Hoult and an excellent, extremely original script. Highly recommended for all audiences. Read my review and interviews with the director, author, and cast.

New to DVD

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.

The Imposter (anti-recommended): This documentary, which made the list of finalists for the Oscar this year, uses actors and staged interviews to tell the true story of a con artist posing as a 16-year-old missing Texas boy in the 1990s. Unfortunately, its devices serve to make an intriguing story completely uninteresting, and leave multiple questions unanswered.

To Rome with Love (mixed bag): This summer fluff is hardly Woody Allen at his very best, but it does feature some light, entertaining performances from some of his newest selections, like Alison Pill, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, and Ellen Page.

Now on Netflix Instant Streaming

A diverse array of offerings is now available on Netflix, from Michael Bay’s underrated action flick Bad Boys to 1980s classics like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ordinary People, and Top Gun. 2004 Oscar Best Foreign Film winner The Sea Inside is a must-see, and I also very much enjoyed The Giant Mechanical Man, with Chris Messina and Jenna Fischer, from last year.

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