Saturday, July 21, 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

Blindspotting (highly recommended): This film serves as one of two worthy successors to “Get Out” that started as Sundance, and this is the much better of the two. Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal are both terrific as remnants of a pre-gentrified society trying to fit in – and stay out of trouble – as the world evolves around them in a stunningly electric and energizing film. Now playing at AMC Lincoln Square and the Angelika. Read my review from Sundance.

New to DVD

Disobedience (highly recommended): Spectacular performances from Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, and Alessandro Nivola accentuate this captivating look at a forbidden relationship in a religious community.

You Were Never Really Here (mixed bag): Not to be confused for a sequel to the documentary I’m Still Here, also with Joaquin Phoenix, the latest film from director Lynne Ramsay is a violent revenge thriller that doesn’t really know where it’s going despite its altruistic aims.

Now Available on Instant Streaming

Enemy (recommended): Jake Gyllenhaal does impressive double duty as a man who sees someone who looks just like him in a movie and becomes obsessed with finding him. The film, from director Denis Villeneuve, has a great suspenseful feel throughout, and it’s a captivating story that’s easy to get into and hard to shake.

Laggies (mixed bag): I wanted to like this dramedy with odd couple Keira Knightley and Chloe Grace Moretz as a twentysomething and a high schooler who inexplicably become friends. It’s that central logic that’s missing here in a peculiar but somewhat entertaining story. The reason to see this, of course, is Sam Rockwell, continuing his domination of comedies with his singular personality.

Locke (recommended): Director Steven Knight and actor Tom Hardy achieve a brilliant success in unconventional cinema in this 85-minute car ride, which screened at Sundance in 2014 and features only a terrific Hardy on screen as a man whose life is falling apart over the phone as he drives home from work.

Obvious Child (recommended): This comedy, which played at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014, is most notable for giving comedian Jenny Slate a lead role, playing a part perfect for her. The film around her isn’t always as strong, but she’s great and should have a bright and funny future.

Room (highly recommended): This incredible drama won lead actress Brie Larson a well-deserved Oscar for her portrayal of a mother locked in a small room with her young son, played by the equally excellent Jacob Tremblay, whose outlook on the world remains exceptionally positive despite their circumstances.

The Spectacular Now (recommended): This dramedy features terrific performances from young stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley earlier in their careers. It’s not a typical high school movie but at times proves to be very effective.

Spring Breakers (anti-recommended): I really didn’t care for this stylized look at criminality featuring a weird performance from James Franco, though it’s worth noting that many did go crazy for it. It’s a unique experience, to be sure, but one that feels more off-putting than anything else.

Zoe (recommended): Léa Seydoux and Ewan McGregor star in this futuristic drama about the hot topic of artificial intelligence that, like so many other projects about the same subject, explores what it means to be programmed to do one thing and to take charge of your own future. Now streaming on Amazon Prime.

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