Saturday, August 2, 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

Calvary (recommended): Director John Michael McDonagh’s follow-up to “The Guard” is a very different film, one less laced with humor, but still features Brendan Gleeson in a strong and memorable role as a priest threatened by an unknown parishioner in small Irish town. Now playing at AMC Lincoln Square and the Angelika. Read my review from Sundance.

Happy Christmas (recommended): Anna Kendrick is perfectly charming as an immature screwup who has difficulty being an adult when she stays with her brother, his wife, and their baby. Director Joe Swanberg gives a great companion performance in this enjoyable comedy. Now playing at Landmark Sunshine. Read my review from Sundance.

Rich Hill (recommended): This documentary, which took home the Grand Jury Prize at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, is an honest, involving portrait of three young boys facing tough circumstances but proudly talking about their lives to an interested camera. Read my review from yesterday.

War Story (mixed bag): This was the last of 31 films that I saw at Sundance this past year and was probably the least involving or memorable. Catherine Keener anchors a theoretically compelling story whose tedious pacing does the film few favors. Now playing at the IFC Center. Read my review from Sundance.

New to DVD

Nothing of note this week!

Now on Netflix Instant Streaming

Face/Off (highly recommended): This 1997 action film pits John Travolta and Nicolas Cage against each other as each assumes the other’s identity. It’s both a fantastic showcase for the actors, particularly Travolta, and for truly exciting and energizing action scenes.

Kinky Boots (recommended): Before it was a Broadway show, this offbeat story was a 2005 film starring the incomparable Chiwetel Ejiofor, who finally earned an Oscar nomination last year for “12 Years a Slave.” It’s worth a watch.

Make Believe (recommended): I did a giveaway three years ago on this site for prizes related to this informative, clever, and ultimately fun documentary about young musicians preparing for a major competition. It’s a blast!

Shooter (recommended): This was one of the film I recapped in my first-ever post back in 2007. Mark Wahlberg is the perfect choice to play a man framed as a presidential assassin who takes it upon himself to find the real culprit in this action-packed, enjoyable blockbuster.

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