Saturday, June 9, 2018

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.

Now Playing in Theatres

Hearts Beat Loud (highly recommended): Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons are both wonderful as a father-daughter duo who start a band as they shutter a Brooklyn record store that’s well past its prime. It’s an endearing story with some great music to boot. Now playing at the Landmark at 57th West and Regal Union Square. Read my review from Sundance.

Nancy (mixed bag): This was the final film I saw at Sundance this past year, and it was far from a satisfying way to end a week or so of 40 movies. Andrea Riseborough doesn’t seem quite comfortable in the skin of her character, the protagonist of a film that doesn’t really know where it’s heading. Now playing at the Landmark at 57th West and Cinema Village. Read my review from Sundance.

Zoo (recommended): This children’s film about a boy in 1941 Belfast who makes it his personal mission to save a baby elephant after the zoo is shuttered is enjoyable and great for what it is. Now playing at the AMC in East Hanover, NJ. Read my review from yesterday.

New to DVD

Thoroughbreds (highly recommended): I can’t say enough about how excellent this dark thriller is, and stars Olivia Cooke and Anya-Taylor Joy are both terrific. Read my review or my interview with director Cory Finley, but most importantly, watch this film!

Now Available on Instant Streaming

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (highly recommended): This informative documentary sheds a light on the scientific achievements and mental health struggles of Hedy Lamarr, an actress known for her beauty but who accomplished so much more.

Blue Jasmine (mixed bag): Woody Allen’s last well-received film won Cate Blanchett an Oscar, but it doesn’t function all that well as a film, relying on its protagonist to carry its somewhat miserable story through, hardly evocative of both the best comedy and the best drama Allen has produced throughout his career.

The Departed (highly recommended): Martin Scorsese finally won the Oscar for Best Director for a fantastic culmination of his career, a modern-day mob movie about two moles, one a cop and the other a mobster, culturally adapted perfectly from “Infernal Affairs.” Matt Damon doesn’t get enough praise for a fantastic performance in a superb ensemble.

The King’s Speech (recommended): Even if it didn’t deserve to win Best Picture over a number of the other nominees, this is still a great film featuring some very good performances, from Oscar winner Colin Firth but also from Geoffrey Rush as his humorous and distinctive speech therapist. For anyone who hasn’t seen this and likes British dramas about royalty, this is a can’t-miss.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (recommended): This film from very early in the careers of Michael Cera and Kat Dennings plays to their dramatic strengths as much as their comedic wits, with great music and an effective pace thrown in for good measure.

Righteous Kill (anti-recommended): Don’t bother with this very poor film starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino - watch my one-minute Minute with Abe reaction from nearly ten years ago instead!

Rumor Has It (anti-recommended): This attempt to capitalize on the popularity of “The Graduate” with a story about the people who might well be the inspiration for it fell flat, with Kevin Costner and Jennifer Aniston delivering lackluster performances.

Taking Lives (anti-recommended): I remember being so excited about this serial killer movie which came out when Kiefer Sutherland was very big on “24,” and it was an enormous disappointment, to say the least. Costars Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke are probably wishing that people didn’t remember this movie.

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