Friday, August 9, 2013

Ignored Films That Are Worth Your Time

Rather than do a film today, let’s remind people of a few surprisingly great films we’ve stumbled across in our travels so far. These are films that didn’t get much attention or bombed, but really deserve to be known. Check them out if you haven’t already done so:

Cop Land: Who knew that Stallone could act? This film is so not what you expect from a cop movie. Well written and extremely well acted by an impressive cast, you should check this one out. It will keep you guessing throughout with all of its twists and turns.

Triangle: This film was completely ignored and that’s a shame. From its marketing, it appears to be a slasher film that takes place in the Bermuda triangle, but it’s so not that. What it is, is an amazingly complex time-loop story that may be making a philosophical point about the nature of hell and why one woman is trapped in it.

Scott Pilgrim v. the World: This is a great film, but there’s a trick to enjoying it. You need to understand that this film is a parody of teen romance comedies as seen through a video game. This is not a comic book. That is key. If you understand that and you know how to slog your way through henchmen to a boss battle as people around you burst into coins when they get killed, then this film is truly entertaining.

Speed Racer: Hated by critics who wrongly saw the film as shallow, Speed Racer boasts strong visuals, a stylish world, strong characters, and a truly touching story about a young man who needs to climb out from behind the shadow of a dead brother to win the love and respect of his family.

13: Stark. Raw. Another ignored independent film, this film really hits a nerve in its presentation of a Russian Roulette tournament played at the behest of a group of rich gamblers. I still don’t know if I loved or hated this film, but it was impossible not to have an opinion.

Ninth Gate: This is an amazing film. This is a film about the nature of evil and what confused the critics was that the hero is actually the bad guy. Read the review and you’ll see what I mean. This is Roman Polanski pointing his finger at Hollywood, admonishing them for selling cartoon evil as evil as they miss all the real evil going on every day.

Pontypool: Perhaps the coolest, most unique zombie film out there, Pontypool breathes new live into zombie movies through a "War of the Worlds"-style retelling where you rarely see anything.

Ronin: Surprisingly, many people haven’t seen this film starring Robert De Niro and Jean Reno. Written by David Mamet, this is probably the best spy story ever told.

Real Steel: Finally, we have Real Steel. This film can hardly be called ignored or overlooked, but there’s a good chance that most of our audience skipped it thinking it was cliché and kitsch. Yeah, it was, but man does this film deliver. This film delivers a strong father-son story, made all the more interesting in that they flipped the personalities of the father and son, making the son the more responsible. This film is like WWF Wrestling used to be... you knew it was fake, but you still couldn’t stop cheering.


There are others too. Devil is a film I’ve come around on and I really enjoy it despite a couple flaws. The Spanish Prisoner is another Mamet film. This one is just intensely clever and is sure to keep your head spinning... though it all makes total sense when you stop to think about it. Kick Ass was fun. Cube and Rollerball both present fascinating looks into how evil can come about either by accident and indifference or even by attempting to do good. Vanishing Point is inexplicably compelling. And Rat Race is just a honking good time... “the Barbie Museum.”

And then, of course, there are the films that were considered good... but those are for another day.

78 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

FYI, each title is a link to the article in case you missed it. Feel free to comment on old articles too if you like, I'll get the comments and will respond.

tryanmax said...

Dark City should be on this list, too. Overshadowed by The Matrix when it was released, it tackles many of the same questions about reality from a completely different and much more intriguing way.

AndrewPrice said...

Excellent point. That should be on the list too. That's some of the best, most-unique, science fiction out there!

shawn said...

I've seen most of these and would recommend them.

Haven't seen
1) Copland, but heard good things. Stallone did it for scale as he was box office poison at the time and trying to turn that around.
2)13- Never heard of it.
3)The Ninth Gate- caught bits and pieces of it on the tv, still have yet to see the whole thing, but need to do it.
4)Pontypool. Heard it mention on another website, haven't seen it yet. Might check it out.

My recommendation- the original foreign version of Armor of God 2: Operation Condor which was released in the states as just Operation Condor. Jakie Chan plays a Indiana Jones type on the search for Nazi gold in Africa. Some of his best stunts and lots of fun to be had. The U.S. release cut some of the humor and put in a lame soundtrack. Now I'm no heathen that says that you have to watch the original foreign language, I watch the dub, but at least see the uncut movie with the original score.

Tennessee Jed said...

Side Effects, The Duellists and In Bruges, and Side Effcts are three I enjoyed enough to recommend.

ScottDS said...

I'm thankful for your positive Scott Pilgrim review. Talk about an instant cult classic (not to mention Exhibit #147 that box-office doesn't = quality).

I just watched a movie I wanted to hate, yet almost - almost! - kinda sorta tolerated: The Sitter, with Jonah Hill. Don't get me wrong, it's not a good movie at all, but there's one element that's worth watching:

Sam Rockwell

He play's a drug dealer but it's done in such an over-the-top manner that I wish the movie had been all about him. He's very... attached, and he works out of an underground lair and his henchmen are all comically-oversized gay bodybuilders.

Don't ask... but I did find myself grinning whenever he was on the screen.

Sometimes that's all it takes. :-)

tryanmax said...

Scott, I wasn't planning to see The Sitter, but that was before I knew Rockwell was in it.

IMO, Rockwell is the most compelling actor working today. He has a screen magnetism that is practically inexplicable. By appearances, he's a schlub of a guy, and yet he seizes the camera whenever he's onscreen.

Despite script flaws, he is great in Moon. I happen to think he's the best part of Charlie's Angels and Iron Man 2. Even as an unknown when he did Galaxy Quest, he commanded attention amongst an ensemble of well-known stars. He was also a thug in 1990's TMNT.

I'm still working through his films from before I actually noticed him, but so far I haven't a bad performance.

PikeBishop said...

Run don't walk to check out "Homeroom" a little independent gem that got lost in the early 2000s.

It starts out with the aftermath of school shooting and deals with a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, barely hanging on to finish high school (Busy Phillips) who is forced to spend time with one of the little "Muffy-head of the pep-squad"-type victims.

The first twenty minutes, you will be saying "Gee I wonder if they become friends....yadda...yadda...yadda." But then it goes in directions you don't expect. Cast also features Victor Garber and Ken Jenkins. Highly recommend.

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, I love Jackie Chan films, but I haven't seen that one. I'll check it out!

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That list looks familiar! :)

I am looking forward to Side Effects. I'm really curious about that one.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I haven't heard of it, and I'm not a Jonah Hill fan at all. But I'll give it a chance.

Yeah, Scott Pilgrim was an interesting movie. I hated it the first time I saw it. I had been told it was a comic book movie film, and it kind of seemed like it, but it made no sense, it felt confused and like they were just throwing things at you they thought were quirky. Then tryanmax mentioned it and said you had to watch it as a video game... not a comic book. I gave it another shot with that understanding and suddenly it all made sense and I thought it was pretty brilliant.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I like Rockwell as well. In some ways, I see him like Steve Buscemi or Gary Oldman... oddly compelling on screen.

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, I'll check that out. I've never heard of it.

tryanmax said...

In fairness to whoever set you wrong, Scott Pilgrim was first a comic book (or maybe a graphic novel) but it was always a video-game parody.

Ty in TX said...

GATTACA should be on here too. It's "hard" Sci-fi. Taking a possible scientific breakthrough and exploring its changes to society. And in the end it was a celebration of the human will and spirit.

AndrewPrice said...

Basically, reviewer after reviewer said "this is a comic book movie" and then they tore it apart. And since it doesn't match the expectations of a comic book movie at all, it was hard to like with that mindset. It's like being told something is a comedy and then it turns out to be a drama with only a couple jokes in it.

AndrewPrice said...

Ty, Gattaca was a good movie and an interesting exploration of how the world might change.

PikeBishop said...

on "Homeroom"

In his book "Schlock Value," film critic Richard Roeper discusses this film as a prime example of what he calls a "lost film" - a movie (often excellent) which does not get strong enough backing from the studio and is either swept aside or goes straight to video.

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, I think there are a lot of reasons why films like this fail to catch on and lack of studio support is definitely one of them. There's also bad marketing. And then there's bad demographics -- the audience the film appeals to isn't an audience that goes to theaters.

Commercial success really isn't a measure of quality, it's a measure of marketing power. Quality comes through longevity and loyalty.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Don't bother checking The Sitter out on my account! I don't know if it's worth it just for Rockwell, especially if you don't like Hill. :-)

And I agree with your comments to Pike. One wonders if any movie from this particular summer will be remembered later. (Critics are calling it brutal but two months don't make a trend... and some movies are just bad movies! It's not the end of the world.)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I really dislike Hill. I actively avoid movies with him in it.

I doubt any movies this summer will be remembered. It's been a really crappy summer for films. That said, I think there's a power struggling going on regarding all the talk about Hollywood falling apart. All the talk is vastly overstated on both sides and there seem to be hedgefunds pushing some of it, with the idea of taking down the head of Sony Entertainment. I'm not 100% sure what is going on, but something is... the talk is too coordinated.

tryanmax said...

I just looked through all the summer releases on IMDb. It's pretty dismal in retrospect. Not just in terms of box office, but by how so many of them have just vanished from the radar. What's the last word anyone's heard on Gatsby?

I'll be interested to see how the next couple weekends go, they look to be the last hurrah. I don't have high expectations for Elysium, but I sure would like to be surprised.

Beyond that, it'll be interesting to see how Pacific Rim ages as the storyline and many of the tropes employed are pulled straight from common anime themes. It seems a little too flashy to ever be a cult film, but it does have the advantage of not being Transformers.

AndrewPrice said...

Personally, I suspect Elysium will do poorly. For one thing, a lot of people are talking about it being very political, and Damon is shooting his mouth off again about Obama not being socialist enough. That's bad timing and a bad sign.

For another, Damon no longer has star power, especially when it comes to pure action films.

For another, we've seen this. This is Matt Damon as Tom Cruise in A Science Fiction Film.

For another, I saw my first real trailer yesterday and it left me cold. Gritty Matt Damon soldier versus shiny thing. Not credible + yawn.

PikeBishop said...

Andrew: You said, "Commercial success really isn't a measure of quality, it's a measure of marketing power. Quality comes through longevity and loyalty."

Agreed, even think of the (sad to say this) all time box office champ, Avatar, four years ago. It's almost like everyone rushed out to see it, just to say they saw it and its technical marvels. No one talks about it; I don't think it really sold gangbusters on DVD and blue ray.

It certainly doesn't have the staying power or "let's talk about it" factor of Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, the Godfather or numerous other better remembered films over the years.

Only four years and aleady its, "Avatar, oh yeah, that."

ScottDS said...

We were talking about Clooney recently and the trailer for his next movie is up: Monuments Men, and the material is right up my alley. I just hope it's good.

Interestingly, I've been more interested in the non-genre movies that are coming out: Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, David O. Russell's American Hustle, Spike Jonze's Her, and this.

ScottDS said...

PikeBishop -

You might be on to something.

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, Absolutely right. Avatar is one of those things where the marketing turned it into an event and it made a fortune, but it had no substance and therefore no staying power. They're going to make some sequels because the money is there for the taking, which will keep it in the news, but I too would bet that in twenty years, the film will be almost completely forgotten.

As an aside, I now have The Rapture, but haven't had a chance to see it. I hope to do that this coming week.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I think Monuments Men will do poorly... too niche. Interestingly though, I read an article trying to defend Sony the other day and they listed the "big hits" they were expecting next year. They listed these as if they were a sure thing. The list included four films. One was a generic action film that didn't sound interesting (can't think of the name), then Monuments Men, American Hustle, and Spider Man.

If that's what they think is going to make money for Sony next year, then it is time to short the studio. Only Spider Man will make a lot of money and it may crash and burn if people are burned out on the franchise and aren't ready for a reboot.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Generally a good essay, with a couple obvious flaws. Consider this:

It’s worth noting that Cameron confronted a challenge that other blockbuster-makers have avoided: He created an original (or quasi-original) story with new characters. Of course we’re still talking about Batman. But Jake Sully and Neytiri? They don’t have seven decades of previous incarnations to lean on (and yes, I had to look up those names).

First, this is actually the substance of the debate and he skips it. So he kind of cheats his way through.

Secondly, Luke Skywalker/Darth Vader were new characters and they didn't need decades before they became household names. To the contrary, they hit instantly, as do most classics. Very few get recognized 20 years later.

Third, Avatar is not new. Avatar is Dances With Wolves with Long-Smurfs replacing the Indians. That he thinks this is something new kind of shows he's none too bright.

Fourth, his addition that other movies might be influenced by this film because they lush alien planets is idiotic. By that reasoning, Avatar is just a remake of Abbott and Costello Go To Africa.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Avatar might be a remake of Ernest Goes to Camp and I'm surprised no one's noticed!

This is straight from the Wikipedia summary:

"Meanwhile, an evil mining corporation run by the ruthless Sherman Krader (John Vernon) has its sights on [Camp] Kikakee, a site rich with the fictional mineral petrocite. However, Chief St. Cloud refuses to sell. Krader manipulates Ernest, one of the few people who speaks the chief's language, into convincing St. Cloud to sign away the land..."

Get it?!?! :-)

(And yes, if BH had been around then, they'd be calling for Ernest's head I'm sure.)

As for the aforementioned films, they might make money. Clooney's last flick made just shy of $100 million and David O. Russell's last flick (Silver Linings Playbook) made over $100 million.

They won't save the studio but I think they'll do "respectable."

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL! I had no idea that Avatar was a remake of Ernest Goes to Camp, but it sure sounds like it!

They will probably do well for what they are, but they won't bring in the kind of money the studio needs to offset loses like Olympus Has Fallen... and it can't get up. That's what was so funny about the defense, that this guy thought these niche pictures were on the same level of important to the studio as the tentpoles, where hundreds of millions are being wasted.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

You're thinking of White House Down... the one with Tatum and Foxx.

Olympus was the other one, and made more money.

But I can see how one could confuse the two. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Yep. White House Down and out in Beverly Hills. That's the one.

tryanmax said...

I'm not entirely sure that both of those aren't just retoolings of the unmade Ernest Goes to Washington script. Happily, Jim Varney was not alive to see it.

AndrewPrice said...

Ah yes, the fabled Ernest Goes To Washington. LOL!

ScottDS said...

It ain't Washington DC, but Billy Wilder and his co-writer I.A.L. Diamond were at one point in development on A Day at the U.N. which was to star - you guessed it - the Marx Brothers! Sadly, Chico died and the project died with him.

AndrewPrice said...

But that was just a re-make of Day At The League of Nations. :P

ScottDS said...

BTW, I'm watching The Watch with Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill... it's f---ing awful!!

Not to get all rose-tinted glasses on everyone, but if Spielberg had made it as a straight sci-fi flick in the 80s, or Ivan Reitman or John Landis had made it as a comedy/horror with Aykroyd, Belushi, et al... we'd still be talking about it.

But as it stands, it's just another stupid movie where characters saying "f---" over and over = funny. And it's another comedy where everything just looks so... clean and bright. (Sorry, it's a pet peeve of mine.)

EricP said...

Drop Dead Gorgeous. Politically incorrect in glorious ways Bill Maher only wishes he could attain, kick-ass soundtrack, and far too many career-best performances. Check it aht.

ScottDS said...

Eric -

I LOVE that movie! And it's amazing how many times I bring it up only to find other people who've actually seen it.

"Speak English, you stupid little retard!"

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I really disliked The Watch as well. That's one of those where Stiller thinks he can get by by just looking pathetic as the rather boring story plays out. I disliked all the characters and thought they had no idea what to do with the concept.

And yeah, if Aykroyd or Spielberg had done this in the 1980s, it would be a classic today because it's a great concept.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, I still haven't seen that one.

PikeBishop said...

Eric, there are two "Drop Dead Gorgeous" films. Are you talking about the beauty pagent satire with Kirstie Alley and Denise Richards?

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite films is a little known gem called Limbo, from 1999.David Strathairn is one of my favorite actors.His career has mostly been spent in supporting work but in Limbo he gets the chance to show what he can do in the lead and he delivers. It's a dialog movie and you have to watch it all the way through,but it's well worth it.
The class of 1999 also gave us the 13th Warrior.It has it's critics and it lost money, but it's one of my favorites. "Lo,there,do I see my father..."
Hard Times is a truly great film that never gets played or discussed anymore but that doesn't diminish it one bit. Walter Hill's debut as a director, with Charles Bronson at his peak and James Coburn and Strother Martin to help out.
The Grey was an art film advertised as an action movie and it kind of fell between the cracks,but I liked it.
You guys are right about The Watch. If it had been done in the eighties with Ackroyd et al it would be a classic. As it was, it sucked.
GypsyTyger

AndrewPrice said...

GypsyTyger, I really want to see The Grey, but it's one of those films that slipped between the television cracks and never made it to any of the movie channels. So I fell off my radar.

The Watch was disappointing.

Backthrow said...

I just watched SPLICE tonight, and it was actually pretty good, though I guess it came and went pretty quickly in June 2010, without making much of an impression at the boxoffice. There were times where the film could've taken the lazy screenwriting route, but it didn't. Not a masterpiece, but a pretty solid 'mad science' effort.

Loved SCOTT PILGRIM, RONIN, THE SPANISH PRISONER and KICK ASS. Disliked SPEED RACER and RAT RACE. Maybe I should give RAT RACE another try (it's been years), but I remember shutting it off 30 minutes in, tired of waiting for laughs that never came.

NINTH GATE was okay; basically a shaggy dog story, fine while it was playing, but had nothing that really stuck with me afterward. CUBE was basically the old TWILIGHT ZONE story, "Five Characters in Search of an Exit", except I recall CUBE's characters being more annoying, and were dispatched in methods that foreshadowed the Hollywood 'Torture Porn' fad. Not that I'm particularly squeamish, but I don't remember much else to the story than bickering and death trap gimmicks. VANISHING POINT was pretty good, though the ending leaves me cold, erasing whatever good will it has built.

I haven't seen COPLAND, PONTYPOOL or ROLLERBALL (other than a few bits of the latter, in passing ) though they've been in my Netflix queue, so I should watch them soon. I haven't seen 13, either, but I did see the original French film, which was interesting. I'll have to give TRIANGLE a try. Ditto DEVIL. REAL STEEL... hmmm... I might give that one a look, though something tells me I should keep my expectations low going in.

Backthrow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Backthrow said...

Some ignored/forgotten films from the last decade that I’ve enjoyed… worth a shot, if you haven’t seen them:

DINNER RUSH (2000, dir. Bob Giraldi (HIDING OUT)) Danny Aiello

GHOST WORLD (2001, dir. Terry Zwigoff (BAD SANTA, CRUMB)) Thora Birch, Steve Buscemi, Scarlett Johansson

THE FALL (2006, dir. Tarsem Singh (THE CELL)) Lee Pace

INTACTO (2001, dir. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 WEEKS LATER))

FRAILTY (2002, dir. Bill Paxton) Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton

THE GREAT RAID (2005, dir. John Dahl (RED ROCK WEST, THE LAST SEDUCTION, JOY RIDE)) Benjamin Bratt, Connie Nielsen, James Franco, Joseph Fiennes

YOU KILL ME (2007, dir. John Dahl) Ben Kingsley, Tea Leoni (used well, for once), Dennis Farina, Luke Wilson

THE COOLER (2004, dir. Wayne Kramer) William H. Macy, Maria Bello, Alec Baldwin

RUNNING SCARED (2006, dir. Wayne Kramer) Paul Walker

MARRIED LIFE (2007, dir. Ira Sachs) Chris Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Rachel McAdams, Patricia Clarkson

CHOCOLATE (2008, dir. Prachya Pinkaew (ONG-BAK: THE THAI WARRIOR))

RESCUE DAWN (2006, dir. Werner Herzog) Christian Bale, Steve Zahn

DIAMOND MEN (2000, dir. Dan Cohen) Robert Forster, Donnie Wahlberg, Jasmine Guy, Bess Armstrong

SECONDHAND LIONS (2004, dir. Tim McCanlies) Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Haley Joel Osment

DUMA (2005, dir. Carroll Ballard (THE BLACK STALLION, NEVER CRY WOLF))

A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT (2004, dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet (AMELIE, DELICATESSEN, ALIEN RESSURECTION)) Audrey Toutou

THE LOST CITY (2006, dir. Andy Garcia) Andy Garcia, Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray

THE GREAT YOKAI WAR (2005, dir. Takashi Miike (AUDITION))

Anonymous said...

Backthrow - I had forgotten about The Fall. A wonderful movie. And Second Hand Lions belongs in some kind of hall of fame.
I would throw in Morning Glory - Rachel McAdams is great, and Harrison Ford,in 2010 no less,actually shows up to work. He can still turn it on when he wants to.
The Promise - Don't let the fact that Sean Penn directed it dissuade you. Jack Nicholson does the same thing in The Promise that Harrison Ford did in Morning Glory,although they're completely different movies. He actually shows up to work and makes you understand why he actually earned the reputation he's been living off of since the eighties.
And how about Taking Chance with Kevin Bacon?
GypsyTyger

PikeBishop said...

One slight disagreement on the film choice. The original "Rollerball" does not count as an ignored film in mu opinion. It was a reasonable box office success, taking in about 30 million, adjusted for inflation that would be about 129 million today, decent hit film without a bloated budget. The film had legs on nascent pay channels such as HBO and I remember seeing it on network tv, as late as 1983. It's commentary on sports, violence in society and media are still referenced and sub referenced to this day. I hardly call that "ignored."

Patriot said...

I have a few of these films in my rotation.
Hard Times is a great film with quotable dialogue: "No matter what, you'll always smell like fish." "If you want the do-re-mi they come to Speed." Very believable Bronson character.
13th Warrior is another movie we watch periodically. Banderas plays a great (wait for it) Muslim court boy who grows into a brave warrior. "I listened!" "My name is Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan Ibn Al Abbas Ibn Rashid Ibn Hamad." "Eben."

Also, one other that hasn't been mentioned here..."Predator" with Schwarzenegger. Probably his most iconic film, as he finally plays a character that goes with his physique. And the dialogue written for him was terse and believable. Still watch it.

Patriot said...

And yes...I know it was Coburn who I quoted, not Bronson. That's because they gave Bronson like 3 sentences in the whole film.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, There are definitely some good films on that list. On the films you didn't like, read the reviews again. I think you might find more in them that you expect.

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, True. Rollerball might belong on the more successful list, but I tend to see it as a cult movie today rather than a popular movie.

AndrewPrice said...

GypsyTyger, Taking Chance is a fantastic movie. People should definitely check that one out.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, Predator is indeed a fantastic film, but it probably belongs on the "very successful list" rather than the "ignored" list.

Anonymous said...

I really loved Cop Land it is a classic, I saw Triangle without knowing what it was and was confused but fascinated by it and talked about it for ages after it was over.

Scott Pilgrim v. the World was not as good as I hoped it to be (but that was still great) until I watched it the second time and I really appreciated it a lot more.

People haven't seen Ronin? What the hell are they doing? Masterpiece.

I liked Real Steel, it wasn't great but I liked it more than I thought I would.

Never saw Speed Racer due to the reviews (that doesn't always stop me) and the clips I saw of it didn't make me want to see it. I saw the clip 13 and was curious but never saw anything about the movie after that. I may have to go looking for them.

If I had to pick an ignored movie it would be Gone, Baby Gone. Amazing, Ben Affleck can direct and Casey Affleck can bloody well act, great movie which keeps you guessing right to the end (even when you think the movie had already ended) and keeps you thinking after it ends.

tryanmax is right Dark City should be on the list.

shawn I loved both Armor of God (I prefer Project A) movies and most of Jackie Chans earlier movies, not so much his later work. You could do another whole post of Hong Kong movies that have been ignored way to much. People only know them by the Hollywood rip off so the script or actions scenes.

PikeBishop, I managed to avoid rushing out and seeing Avatar!

GypsyTyper, The Grey was good, but it was advertised wrong.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I had similar reactions. Yep, Dark City should definitely be on the list, I'm not sure why I left it off.

I can't believe people haven't seen Ronin, but apparently many haven't.

I really expected to dislike Real Steel, but ended up really enjoying it. It's just a fun, happy escapism.

It took me figuring out that I was looking at it wrong before Scott Pilgrim made sense to me.

I haven't seen Gone, Baby Gone.

Anonymous said...

I saw Pieces Of April at the movies and I liked it so much that I bought it. I watch it every Thanksgiving.
I also own Falling Down. When this came out it really didn't fit any genre,and neither the critics or moviegoers really knew what to do with it. It's a sober film and it's not something you want to watch every day but I think it's Michael Douglas' best work.It's funny that everybody praises him for Gordon Gecko,where he overacted and was just a caricature,and everybody ignores Falling Down,where he really acted.No mater how you feel about the character's motivation,Douglas pulls you into his anger and pain.Robert Duvall gives a great understated supporting performance.
I mentioned Hard Times before. Another movie that has been forgotten and shouldn't be is The Long Riders,also by Walter Hill. I've always thought Keith Carradine was underrated. And if all you've seen David do is play Kwai Chang Caine you owe it to yourself to see this at least once.
GypsyTyger

Anonymous said...

I still love Breaking Away.
If you're from a small town you should check out Possums,with Mac Davis.Trust me.
Lastly,movies are more than just the sum of their parts.One of the things we love about movies is the emotions they bring up,not just the emotions they cause themselves,but the emotions that surround the memories of what we were doing when we saw them. My oldest daughter played soccer from the time she was 4 through high school,and she didn't just do it because it was there,she really loved it. Without telling her beforehand I took her out of school early one day and we went to see Bend It Like Beckham,so I've got a soft spot for that one.
GypsyTyger

Anonymous said...

Dammit! How could we post 60 comments between us all and nobody mention Big Wednesday? One of the best movies I have seen in my entire life and I wouldn't even know it existed if not for the internet.I was on Amazon one day looking at Point Break and it did the "you might also like" thing and Big Wednesday came up.I'm glad it did. A movie that deals with the leaving things behind when you grow up as sweetly painful and wistfuly nostalgic as any Bob Seger song without being sappy. The only way to see it is to own it. A real loss if you haven't seen it.
GypsyTyger

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely behind on my movie watching, though out of those mentioned on this thread I agree about Secondhand Lions being good. I didn't see it all the way through but I saw a fair bit of it with my mom and it was an entertaining, touching story. Robert Duvall and Michael Caine did extremely well in their parts, though I wouldn't expect anything less from them.

- Daniel

Anonymous said...

Spartan, with Val Kilmer. David Mamet directed it, I believe, or perhaps wrote it. Anyway, it's a darn fine movie.

Anonymous said...

I just re-read my comment on Big Wednesday, I could have written it a little better in that I in no way meant to imply that Seger songs are sappy. I simply meant to state that the movie's not. When you say things like wistfuly nostalgic you don't want to scare off the people that you're trying to get to watch the film. What I meant to say is that Big Wednesday is the movie equivalent to a Seger song,which is damned high praise.
GypsyTyger

Anonymous said...

It captures the pain of growing up and moving on as sweetly and as thoroughly as Bob Seger. There.
GypsyTyger

PikeBishop said...

"PikeBishop, I managed to avoid rushing out and seeing Avatar!"

Gypsy, me too, In discussions with my students I mentioned why I disliked and had no desire to see this film. A year later wife and I were in a motel in Lafeyette, LA and it was on HBO. In a sense of fairness I ended up watching about 75% of it, and it was the bloated, gee-whiz effects, rip off plot, wooden character filled, cliché, subtle as a hammer to the head message driven utter piece of solid human excrement that I thought it would be.

EricP said...

>>Are you talking about the beauty pagent satire with Kirstie Alley and Denise Richards? >>

Indeed, PikeBishop. I thought the un-PC and kick-ass soundtrack would've been enough to confirm. ;-)

PikeBishop said...

Eric, that is an amazing film, well-written and that cast hits on all cylinders. Hey given the right material Denise Richards could act and be funny. There are so many incredible images in that film. The beer can and the hand and the meetup with the crew from COPS among others.

Anonymous said...

Andrew,

Do yourself a favour and see Gone, Baby, Gone.

Affleck can direct and his little brother can act, it is better than The Town, which I did like.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I will. I'm going to check out quite a few of the ones above that I haven't seen yet.

AndrewPrice said...

GypsyTyger, I'm on the fence about Falling Down. I like the concept, but it felt to me constantly like they were holding back for fear of insulting liberals -- his complaints struck me as complaints liberals might approve of rather than things that would really bother him.

AndrewPrice said...

I saw Avatar, I even reviewed it. I want that part of my life back.

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, I haven't seen Secondhand Lions.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, I haven't watched it all the way through and my memory's a bit hazy, but I remember the basics. Haley Joel Osment plays a boy sent to live with his great-uncles, played my Michael Caine and Robert Duvall, who are said to have a hidden fortune. The two of them are oddballs with quite the adventurous past which the movie gets into. I really need to see it all the way through sometime, but I thoroughly enjoyed what I did see.

- Daniel

Anonymous said...

Daniel,

I had never heard of Secondhand Lions before....

But your description of the plot rang a bell, I checked it out on IMDB and I have seen and all of a sudden I remember this really great movie I saw (not sure when, I think Scotch was involved) at some time and really loved but forgot I saw.

I will have to get my hands on a copy to enjoy again. Thanks for reminding me about it.

Scott.

Anonymous said...

You're welcome, Scott. The movie's been in the back of my mind at times so it was nice to see it mentioned here. It looks to be reasonably priced on Amazon, so I might pick it up when I get paid. It would be nice to see it all the way through this time!

- Daniel

John Johnson said...

Okidoke. I'm obtaining 'Pontypool', 'Ronin' and 'Vanishing Point' as we speak. Didn't dare to touch 'Real Steel' as I'm so not into dad-son movies, and alike. I think I had Ronin once, but I removed. I wonder what the reason could have been...

AndrewPrice said...

John, I hope you enjoy them.

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