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Great movies that you may not have seen...


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#1 of 69 OFFLINE   Mike_Boulanger

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Posted November 25 2003 - 02:12 PM

Maybe I'm posting to the wrong forum here, maybe you guys have seen everything. But lately I've been turned on to lesser known movies that maybe didn't get the publicity they deserved. Because of that, some of us who would appreciate them haven't seen them yet. I'm not talking complete low-budget unknown films, but not exactly huge blockbusters either.

Two movies I've watched very recently that fit the bill are Memento and Donnie Darko. Both, in my opinion, GREAT movies that really get the viewer thinking.

Wondering if anyone else has any recommendations?

#2 of 69 OFFLINE   Haggai

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Posted November 25 2003 - 02:26 PM

A while back, I rented "Permanent Midnight," starring Ben Stiller, on a pretty random whim. I enjoyed it way more than I had anticipated, very funny and well-acted. Also, when I finally got around to seeing "Nine Queens," a clever Argentinian con-game type story, I was very glad that I did.

#3 of 69 OFFLINE   MartinTeller

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Posted November 25 2003 - 05:12 PM

Since when is Memento a "lesser-known" movie? It's #15 on iMDB with over 60,000 votes. Only 23 movies have more votes. When that movie came out you heard about it constantly, and it won an assload of awards, too.

#4 of 69 OFFLINE   Tim Raffey

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Posted November 25 2003 - 07:28 PM

The only time I can think of walking out of a video store with a movie I'd never heard of was with a movie called Sweet Jane. It was alright.

On my birthday I went to the theater to see I picture I couldn't decipher the blurb to: American Magus, a rather amazing video about Harry Smith. That was a nice experience, even though the projector or tape kept breaking.
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#5 of 69 OFFLINE   Adam_S

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Posted November 25 2003 - 08:05 PM

Empire of the Sun -- Spielberg's best film, and not too many people remember it today, although it was well accoladed at the time, however I think this film will grow in stature as Spielberg becomes more acceptable canon to the film snobs of the world that declare such and such films are 'great' Posted Image

Man Who Shot Liberty Valance -- while this is one of the highest ranked westerns on the S and S list, not many people know about it, either jumping from classic Ford like the Searchers to revisionist westerns like peckinpah or spaghettis like GB&U. In my opinion though, this gem of a film (starring both Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne AND Lee Marvin) is the best western. And its a personal favorite I look forward to watching any time.

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#6 of 69 OFFLINE   David Rogers

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Posted November 25 2003 - 09:28 PM

Memento isn't a widely known film. It's a cult hit, certainly, got favorable critic reviews, and has found wide acceptance among *genre* fans.

http://www.boxofficeguru.com/m2.htm
'normal' people, who make up the bulk of the movie audience, haven't found films like Memento or Equilibrium. They won't until a genre friend points it out to them. It is their loss, of course, but it is also the way it is.
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#7 of 69 OFFLINE   Krystian C

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Posted November 25 2003 - 11:10 PM

Cube. It's kind of a Scifi/Psychological thriller. Definately worth checking out. But you may want to pass on the sequel Cube 2: Hypercube. Not nearly the charm of the original.

#8 of 69 OFFLINE   Mike_Boulanger

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Posted November 25 2003 - 11:48 PM

Quote:
Cube. It's kind of a Scifi/Psychological thriller. Definately worth checking out. But you may want to pass on the sequel Cube 2: Hypercube. Not nearly the charm of the original.


Yeah, that was an interesting movie. The sequel lacked something, like you mentioned. They are working on a 3rd movie.

Quote:
Since when is Memento a "lesser-known" movie? It's #15 on iMDB with over 60,000 votes. Only 23 movies have more votes. When that movie came out you heard about it constantly, and it won an assload of awards, too.


I tried to clarify in my original post what I meant by "lesser-known". If I go around and ask 10 of my buddies if they've seen Memento, maybe 1 or 2 will say yes. If I ask them if they've seen The Two Towers, maybe 8 of them will say yes. That's what I mean.

#9 of 69 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted November 26 2003 - 02:26 AM

Proof - Hugo Weaving plays an embittered blind photographer (!) who recruits Russell Crowe to describe to him the photos he's taken. This black comedy/character drama is highly recommended.

Voyager - Sam Shepard plays an emotionally distant engineer who has an affair with a much-younger woman (Julie Delphy). She rekindles his appreciation for life until his past catches up to him. Very good, though extremely depressing.

Before the Rain - Solemn war drama with a structure resembling that of Pulp Fiction. Stars Rade Serbedzija and the late Katrin Cartlidge. A powerful experience.

The Reflecting Skin - Very strange movie about a series of murders and other assorted goings-on in the midwest. If you like David Lynch, you should dig this. Stars Viggo Mortensen.

#10 of 69 OFFLINE   Mark_vdH

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Posted November 26 2003 - 03:02 AM

Try Whale Rider and/or City Of God (Cidade De Deus)......
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#11 of 69 OFFLINE   Hendrik

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Posted November 26 2003 - 03:20 AM

* Rane (The Wounds)

* Clean, Shaven

* Hangmen Also Die

...I could go on all day...

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#12 of 69 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted November 26 2003 - 03:33 AM

I have several suggestions, starting with the Expanding Horizons thread.

You can read at your leisure all of the very fine reviews by SteveGon (and others—he is just the most prolific).

I also think that a perusal of the lists in the various challenges: AFI, S&S, 30s, etc. where some of the titles are obscure for a good many knowledgeable film lovers, will be an absolute gold mine. Plus these threads often have some discussion of a particular title, so you can get some pointers on specific movies within the thread.

And for current movies that might have passed you by there is the Foreign and Independent thread that often has some good pointers.
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#13 of 69 OFFLINE   Andrew_Sch

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Posted November 26 2003 - 07:51 AM

I think a film that doesn't get nearly the credit it deserves is Papillon. It's an epic three-hour story about the notorious French colonial penal system, featuring Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen, in what I think is easily the best performance of the latter's career. Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner of "Patton" fame. Highly reccomended by me.
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#14 of 69 OFFLINE   Jeff Adams

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Posted November 26 2003 - 08:12 AM

A movie that I just saw this past weekend was Owning Mahowney. Great flick with Philip Seymour Hoffman. It's about his gambling addiction. I never heard about it until like 2 weeks ago.
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#15 of 69 OFFLINE   Angelo.M

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Posted November 26 2003 - 08:13 AM

Infinite choices. How about Being There for starters. This is a remarkable film, with a remarkable performance by Peter Sellers.

#16 of 69 OFFLINE   Andrew_Sch

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Posted November 26 2003 - 08:50 AM

What Angelo said.Posted Image
"Old theatres are irreplaceable. They could never be duplicated at today's costs - but more importantly, their spirit could not be duplicated because they remind us of a day when going to the show was a more glorious and escapist experience. I think a town's old theatres are the sanctuary of...

#17 of 69 OFFLINE   Alex Spindler

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Posted November 26 2003 - 10:03 AM

I was thinking on a similar subject the other day. thinking way back far to the early '90s, you could often find a hidden gem at a local theater or down some aisle of a video store. But with the internet, I'm often finding that fans have an excellent venue to proselytize for their unhailed masterpieces and very few seem to slip by my net without me being able to look up reviews and even trailers regardless of how obscure it is. Consider how many people saw Equilibrium, May, and Below just on this forum. Would they have seen it based on the DVD cover? There certainly isn't any press on them. I'd suggest that even one decade ago, they would never have gotten the (albeit limited) exposure that they had. I'd bet that it would have been several years before their fan base started to talk about them loudly enough for others to know.

Think back to when a movie like Brazil was something on a shelf that you picked up on a whim and found the gem inside. Outside of really obscure titles, or extremely lucky people like Scott Weinberg who get to see these movies and start the movement, the art of movie discovery is quickly becoming a lost art.

#18 of 69 OFFLINE   Claire Panke

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Posted November 26 2003 - 10:05 AM

Let me just second the recommendation for Proof, a great Aussie film that really never found an audience in the US.

I've seen Liberty Valance a bunch of times, but would steer anyone to My Darling Clementine instead.

Everybody's context is different - Memento *does* seem like a well known movie to me!

Alex - I saw Brazil in the theater, when it came out. I was always interested in what Gilliam was up to. I can't imagine a genre fan never having at least heard of it - but glad you found it, however you did it.

#19 of 69 OFFLINE   Rob P S

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Posted November 28 2003 - 01:47 AM

Searching for Bobby Fischer

#20 of 69 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted November 28 2003 - 04:02 AM

My favorite lesser-known films (in no particular order):

Donnie Darko: This 1980's period sci-fi film is a cult film in the best sense of the term. Excellant performances abound in this film that is so loaded with material (mostly in the realms of physics, psychology, and 80's politics) to make this the "Thinking mans sc-fi" that could save the genre from an endless cycle of space battles and giant robots. Worth the price of admission alone for the nightmare-fuel visual that is "Frank", a six foot tall bunny-rabbit that prophesises the end of the world.

Dagon. Its a lovecraftian horror film (Like In The Mouth of Madness). If thats not your cup of tea, you probably wont like it. The movie is in english, but one of the characters spanish accent is pretty bad, you may want subtitles (the movie was filmed in spain, thus many people dont know about it).

Series 7. Also called The Contenders: Series 7 Marathon Edition is the seventh season of a fictional television show that pits randomly selected "contestants" against each other is a life-or-death battle of survival. This is what Survivor could have been (If television was around in ancient Rome).

My other suggestions are foriegn films, so be prepared to read subtitles (unless you speak the language in question).

Battle Royale. 30 highschoolers go onto island, one comes off alive. Excellant japanese film (mad props to the young actors who make it work) blends The Most Dangerous Game / Surviving The Game with The Contenders: Series 7 Marathon to make a film that could never be made in America post-Columbine.

Brotherhood of the Wolf. Le Pacte des Loupes is a period french film (18th century) that somehow manages to blend werewolves, kung-fu, powdered wigs, Monicca Bellucci naked, a native american (mohawk), and an evil cult together into one crunchy-cookie of an odd movie. Its nearly two and a half hour running length is the only thing keeping this from being one of the all-time great popcorn flicks.

The Vanishing: Many people know the ending of george Sluizer's French/Dutch suspense masterpiece. If you don't know the end, or only saw the very bad american remake (which had a different ending), YOU MUST WATCH THIS MOVIE. when your done watching it DONT EVER TELL ANYONE THE ENDING. Besides the fact that this movie has one of the greatest build-upto endings ever filmed (seriously, its pee-your pants suspense), it also flies in the face of convention and makes the "bad guy" the most interesting & likeable character in the movie.

The Crimson Rivers: This delightful french film is most readily likened to, and best described as the love child of Se7en and Silence of the Lambs. Gorey serial killings, strange happenings in a remote european city, grave robbers, and and insane nun make for a film that many people can't stomach. This film also contains a surreal fist fight involving skinheads that is dubbed with Sega Virtua Fighter 2 (Ready! Go!). The english dub unfortunatley gets the 5.1 treatment while the french only gets stereo. But the leads (Jean Reno & Vincent Cassel) dub their own voices so it doesn't suffer too much if you watch the english version.
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