Saturday, June 7, 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

The Moment (mixed bag): Jennifer Jason Leigh stars in this drama about a war photographer trying to get a grip on what happened to her missing boyfriend following an injury in the field. Its story is relatively intriguing, and it has its strong moments. Now playing at the Village East Cinema. Read my review from yesterday.

Obvious Child (recommended): This comedy, which played at the Sundance Film Festival this year, is most notable for giving comedian Jenny Slate a lead role, playing a part perfect for her. The film around her isn’t always as strong, but she’s great and should have a bright and funny future. Now playing at the Angelika. Read my review from Sundance.

New to DVD

Valentine Road (highly recommended): This documentary from last year’s Sundance Film Festival is a profound and affecting look at the tragic and untimely death of a young boy because of his gender identity, one which looks in equal detail at what has become of the boy who shot him. This is not a pleasant film, but it is an important and very well-done one.

Now on Netflix Instant Streaming

Between Us (mixed bag): This drama from Slamdance Film Festival co-founder Dan Mirvish, who generously sent me a copy of his film after I wrote about it in a Tuesday’s Top Trailer feature, feels very much like the format that its source material is based on: a play. Julia Stiles, Taye Diggs, Melissa George, and David Harbour turn in strong performances in an intriguing if ultimately unfulfilling look at the ups and downs of marriage.

Cold Mountain (recommended): This 2013 Oscar contender, which won a trophy for supporting actress Renée Zellweger, is an epic war story with dazzling visuals that truly feels like it’s a relic of the past. It’s not always enthralling, but it’s still a worthwhile cinematic experience.

Stories We Tell (recommended): Despite being snubbed for an Oscar nomination, this documentary from actress and filmmaker Sarah Polley is an interesting exercise in narrative nonfiction filmmaking, an effective and hard-hitting look back at memory and the past.

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