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.
Mistress America (recommended): Lola Kirke and Greta Gerwig are both great in director Noah Baumbach’s latest film, an admittedly exaggerated yet still entertaining look at the excitement of life and New York City through one ingénue’s eyes. Now playing at AMC Empire and Landmark Sunshine. Read my review from last week.
People, Places, Things (highly recommended): Jemaine Clement of “Flight of the Conchords” is a wonderful lead in this terrific comedy featuring a comic book artist father of two trying to get his life on track. The whole cast is great, and this film is a lot of fun. Now playing at IFC Center. Read my review from Sundance.
New to DVD
The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (recommended): This film has a lengthy title and quite the story packed inside of it, an energizing and odd fantastic tale of a long life lived with much excitement and many experiences. Overall, it’s odd, but still worth a watch.
La Sapienza (recommended): I enjoyed this intellectual film about art and those who appreciate it when I saw it at the New York Film Festival last fall. Its use of multiple languages and entertaining characters is enjoyable, and overall it’s a great ride. Also streaming on Netflix.
Now on Netflix Instant Streaming
Human Capital (highly recommended): This enjoyable Italian film, which I saw at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, is a clever combination of a number of chapters tying together the same story of sex, scandal, and murder with terrific performances all around. It’s vividly interesting and engaging, and an underappreciated cinematic experience.
The Hurt Locker (highly recommended): This 2009 Best Picture winner from director Kathryn Bigelow is a strong and stirring modern-day war film that delves deep into the psyche of what it’s like to be at war and the implications of it, with great performances all around with Jeremy Renner in the starring role.
Kill Me Three Times (recommended): Entertainment is paramount in this Australian comedy-thriller with enjoyable performances from Simon Pegg, Teresa Palmer, Alice Braga, Luke Hemsworth, and a handful of others.
The Look of Love (highly recommended): This biopic, one of the best films I saw at Sundance 2013, enjoyed an incredibly brief and unmemorable run at just three U.S. theatres in July 2013, and hopefully more people will watch it now. Steve Coogan is superb as Paul Raymond, the British Hugh Hefner, in this lively and engaging rollercoaster ride.
Next (anti-recommended): I gave this sci-fi thriller an F-, and all memories I have of it are truly terrible. This is an example of why Nicolas Cage’s reputation has gone fully downhill, a film in which he just doesn’t even try, with a plot that should be interesting but gets made to be incredibly dumb and, worse than that, thoroughly unsatisfying.
The Riot Club (recommended): Lone Scherfig, who made “An Education” and “One Day,” has created another eventful British drama filled with comedy and drama, this one an unevenly engaging story of a premiere dining club known for its bad behavior.
Two Days, One Night (recommended): Marion Cotillard earned an unexpected Oscar nomination for her intense performance as a woman fighting to keep her job in this unassuming and realistic film that lets its events speak for themselves rather than overdramatizing them.
The Way (mixed bag): This walking road movie starring Martin Sheen and written and directed by his son Emilio Estevez is decently entertaining but otherwise relatively aimless and in no hurry to get anywhere.