Saturday, September 12, 2015

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 and Netflix. I invite you to add in your thoughts on any films I haven’t seen in the comments below.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (recommended): This documentary is a strong and stirring chronicle of the Black Panthers from the organizations’ incitement to their redefinition both internally and by lawmaking authorities. Now playing at Film Forum and AMC Magic Johnson Harlem. Read my review from Sundance.

Sleeping with Other People (highly recommended): Jason Sudeikis and Allison Brie are both terrific in the funniest film from Sundance 2015, a hilarious tale of two friends who try not to be more than that but have trouble keeping themselves from falling for each other. Now playing at AMC Lincoln Square and Regal Union Square. Read my review from Sundance.

Z for Zachariah (recommended): Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Chris Pine are all terrific in this decent depiction of a post-apocalyptic world that doesn’t involve zombies, mutants, or anything of the sort. Read my review from Sundance.

New to DVD

Citizenfour (mixed bag): This Oscar-winning documentary is extremely overrated, featuring an extremely compelling subject, document-leaker Edward Snowden, but hardly made as a strong documentary. See one of the other nominees instead – this one isn’t nearly as invigorating as it purports to be.

Five Star (recommended): This 2014 Tribeca entry is a matter-of-fact look at two men, one following a stint in jail and the other just starting to get into criminal enterprises. The performances are strong and the film is involving if not too memorable.

Now on Netflix Instant Streaming

Above and Beyond (highly recommended): This documentary about the birth of the Israeli air force is an extremely enjoyable, inspiring, and fresh look at how one young country was able to defend itself from attacks on old sides with the help of American and other volunteers eager to fight to safeguard Israel. Hearing from the senior citizens who flew the planes is a particular treat.

Miss Julie (mixed bag): Jessica Chastain and Colin Farell star in this realization of the famed 1888 play that probably is better suited for the stage. Chastain is always good but this is hardly the film to see her in any year.

6 Years (recommended): Taissa Farmiga and Ben Rosenfield star as Melanie and Dan, two people who have been dating for the title period of time and aren’t sure exactly where they are heading. This depiction of a relationship is honest and engaging if not entirely mesmerizing.

Up in the Air (highly recommended): This 2009 Best Picture nominee from director Jason Reitman is a superb and enjoyable look at a man who spends his life living out of a suitcase, with terrific performances from George Clooney, Anna Kendrick, and Vera Farmiga.

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