Saturday, November 8, 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 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

The Better Angels (anti-recommended): The worst film I saw at Sundance this year was this heavily disappointing tale of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood, which fades into its black-and-white background and tells a deathly boring story, with no help from a theoretically strong cast led by Jason Clarke and Diane Kruger. Now playing at Landmark Sunshine. Read my review from Sundance.

Viva La Liberta (highly recommended): This Italian movie about a politician who decides he needs to take time off from his public life stars Toni Servillo as the mild-mannered man in question and his far more eccentric and entertaining identical twin brother. It’s a marvelously entertaining and clever film with plenty to say about politics and relationships. Now playing at Lincoln Plaza and Quad Cinema. Read my review from yesterday.

The Way He Looks (recommended): Brazil’s submission for the Best Foreign Film Oscar is an engaging story about a blind teenager and his two friends, one old and one new, who help him see the world through their kindness, something not bestowed upon him by others. It’s a surprisingly mature and memorable film. Now playing at Village East Cinema. Read my review from Thursday.

West (recommended): This film, set in West Germany in the 1970s, is being released to coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Its story is intriguing even if its focus isn’t clear, and it’s a haunting thriller that offers an uneasy look at a divided Germany. My review will be up tomorrow.

New to DVD

Land Ho! (highly recommended): My favorite film from Sundance is truly a must-see. It’s an unassuming and wholly likeable comedy with terrific performances from the inimitable Earl Lynn Nelson and the dependable Paul Eenhorn.

A Most Wanted Man (mixed bag): The late Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as the head of a counterterrorism team in Germany in one of his final roles, and while this thriller from director Anton Corbjin has its moments, as a whole it’s not as compelling as it should be.

Now on Netflix Instant Streaming

A handful of recent classics are now available, including two of the best thrillers I’ve ever seen, Se7en and Memento, and the film that was remade as “The Departed,” Infernal Affairs. I’m also a big fan of one of the wonderful Love Actually, the eternally endearing Richard Curtis ensemble film from 2003. All highly recommended!

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