Saturday, March 22, 2014

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

Just a Sigh (recommended): I was thrilled to see this film, which I watched almost a year ago when it was playing at Tribeca, on the marquee at Lincoln Plaza. It’s an engaging and well-told story with a great lead role for French actress Emmanuelle Devos. Now playing at IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza. Read my review from Tribeca.

New to DVD

American Hustle (mixed bag): Everyone has heard about one of last year’s biggest films, nominated for ten Oscars, though I assume may still haven’t seen it. It’s the least well-rounded David O. Russell effort from the last few years, featuring an extravagant story and characters, all of which prove entertaining but far from fulfilling.

Frozen (highly recommended): This Disney film really was the best animated film of last year, and it’s worth a viewing even for those who have seen it already. Its soundtrack is spectacular, and its story is charming, original, and heartwarming. A fun and memorable time for all!

Kill Your Darlings (highly recommended): This was actually my favorite film from Sundance 2013, and, after a microscopic theatrical release, I hope many more people have the opportunity to see it on DVD. Daniel Radcliffe leads a superb cast as a young Allen Ginsberg, and this tale of young writers in a transformative time is a marvelous film that is fully intriguing throughout.

Now Available on Netflix

American Dreamz (recommended): I’m not sure how well it would hold up today, but, back in 2006, when I saw this film as part of my first-ever triple-feature (the other films were “The Sentinel” and “Friends with Money”), it was an entertaining and eccentric, if not entirely even, parody of American Idol, politics, and so much more.

Mud (highly recommended): This popular Sundance 2013 film, from “Take Shelter” director Jeff Nichols, is a superb and completely engaging movie that features a strong performance from Matthew McConaughey in the lead role as well as great turns from Reese Witherspoon and child actors Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland. This intriguing, gripping film is not to be missed.

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.

Twenty Feet from Stardom (mixed bag): I never had the chance to put up a review of this newly-minted Oscar winner for Best Documentary, which tells the story of backup singers who have been so close to fame for years without any recognition. It’s certainly worth a watch for those interested, though it didn’t enthrall me as much as I had hoped.

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