Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday Night Movie Recommendations with Abe

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 in NYC

Nothing to report this week, but I am hoping to catch up on a lot of new, Oscar-worthy releases after Thanksgiving.

New to DVD

All is Bright (anti-recommended): There isn’t much merit to this depressing “comedy,” the story of a man recently released from prison who sells Christmas trees with his friend to try to make a living. Paul Giammati and Paul Rudd are both great actors, but this is far from their best work.

C.O.G. (mixed bag): This adaptation of a David Sedaris story about a man who goes to Oregon to work on an apple farm is unwelcoming and bland. Jonathan Groff stars as the lost title character whose life journey doesn’t take him anywhere interesting.

Crystal Fairy (recommended): This bizarre comedy from the Sundance Film Festival is half road trip half drug trip, as Gaby Hoffman’s peculiar Crystal Fairy tags along with Michael Cera’s Jamie and his friends on their journey through Chile in search of a hallucinogenic cactus. While it has some trouble staying grounded, it’s intoxicating the rest of the time.

Paranoia (mixed bag): This hi-tech summer flick is just that: something flashy that tries to be exciting and innovative but misses the mark. Liam Hemsworth has the makings of a movie star, while Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford aren’t trying anymore. A decent popcorn film but far from anything original.

Now On Demand / Netflix Instant Streaming

The American (recommended): This sleek 2010 thriller starring George Clooney was one of the most underrated films of its year, an involving portrait of a man cut off from society and embedded so deeply in his secretive mission and life. Clooney is strong in a quiet but powerful lead performance.

The Joneses (recommended): This 2010 drama presents a fabricated family whose sole purpose is to sell products by living them, and it’s a fascinating and fun concept executed very well. David Duchovny and Demi Moore are great as Mr. and Mrs. Jones, and the whole cast is on in this deceptively dark and mysterious movie.

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