Saturday, September 6, 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 Theatres

May in the Summer (recommended): This was the very first film I saw at the Sundance Film Festival back in 2013. Cherien Dabis impresses as writer, director, producer, and star of this entertaining and involving story about a Jordanian-American bride struggling culturally and personally to plan her wedding in her home country. Now playing at the Laemmle Royal in LA. Read my review from Sundance.

Rocks in My Pockets (recommended): It’s definitely not for kids, but this animated film from Latvian writer-director Signe Baumane is a strong and ferociously interesting look at depression and family history, very adept at telling its story with just a narrator and no dialogue. Definitely an interesting experience. Now playing at the IFC Center. Read my review from Thursday.

New to DVD

Night Moves (mixed bag): Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, and Peter Sarsgaard star as three ecoterrorists planning something big together in this slow-moving film that never really gets anywhere or achieves a satisfying finish.

Whitewash (mixed bag): Thomas Haden Church stars in this intriguing but uninvolving tale of a drunk snowplow driver who accidentally hits a stranger in the middle of a storm. It’s a worthwhile concept, but the execution here is slow-paced and less than inviting.

Now on Netflix Instant Streaming

All is Lost (recommended): Robert Redford missed out on an Oscar nomination for his solo performance in this story of a shipwrecked man fighting to stay alive, and while it’s a strong performance, the movie isn’t nearly as enthralling or immense as it’s been made out to be. Still a worthwhile if isolating journey.

Hugo (recommended): This Best Picture nominee and winner of five Oscars is a gorgeous cinematic experience with a certain enthusiasm for the movies. It has its magical moments, and its only real flaw is trying to be too fantastical at times. Definitely a worthwhile view, and HD couldn’t hurt.

Le Week-End (recommended): Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan star in this entertaining film about a couple celebrating their thirtieth anniversary with a weekend trip to Paris. Both performers are great, and the story around them is solidly interesting if occasionally uncomfortable.

Your Sister’s Sister (highly recommended): This terrific Tribeca entry from this past year features Mark Duplass as a depressed man caught between two half-sisters, wonderfully played by Rosemarie DeWitt and Emily Blunt, during a weekend away at a cabin in this superb and entertaining dramedy.

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