Saturday, November 9, 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

Best Man Down (mixed bag): This film about the death of a best man during a couple’s wedding doesn’t know whether it wants to be a comedy or a drama, and as a result falls short on both fronts. Actors Justin Long, Jess Weixler, and Tyler Labine all disappoint in an all-around unfulfilling movie. Now playing and available on demand. Read my review from yesterday.

It’s Me, It’s Me (mixed bag): It’s hard to know just what to make of this lively Japanese film about a young man who finds new versions of himself appearing on a regular basis. It has its moments where its spark is visible, and others where it seems to have no idea where it’s headed. Now playing at the Cinema Village. My review will be up tomorrow.

New to DVD

Hava Nagila: The Movie (mixed bag): This light documentary about the classic Jewish song might have been endearing if it had bothered to take its subject matter seriously. Instead, it only occasionally gets interesting because it considers its topic to be a big joke.

Lovelace (mixed bag): This biopic isn’t nearly as compelling as another Sundance entry that will be out later this year that looks and sounds very much the same, “The Look of Love.” Amanda Seyfriend turns in a decent performance as the infamous star of “Deep Throat” in a film that never quite captures the spirit of its subject matter and involved characters.

Now On Demand / Netflix Instant Streaming

Blancanieves (recommended): This involving silent black-and-white drama captures a similar energy to “The Artist” by retelling the famous story of Snow White in a way that feels much fresher than recent cinematic and television interpretations. Maribel Verdu, Sofia Oria, and Daniel Gimenez Cacho deliver superb performances.

The English Teacher (recommended): This light-hearted comedy featuring Julianne Moore as an English teacher who tries to mount a high school production of the play written by her former student is far from memorable, but it is perfectly enjoyable for the length of its 90-minute runtime.

Flight (recommended): Denzel Washington earned a well-deserved Oscar nomination for his performance as an alcoholic pilot whose addiction becomes problematic after he miraculously lands a plane hit with severe weather. This involving, layered film features the best action sequence of last year, and a pretty terrific script to boot.

Olympus Has Fallen (anti-recommended): This brainless blockbuster is an excessively violent attempt to play out on screen the ridiculousness of one commando trying to take down an entire army of North Korean terrorists who invade the White House and take the President hostage.

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