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In search of unfound GEMS in movies... (1 Viewer)

Seung Kim

Agent
Joined
Apr 1, 1999
Messages
34
I started my DVD collection for underrated, underappreciated movies that are worthy of owning. Thirteenth Floor, Gattaca, Sweet Hereafter, Eve's Bayou, and Frequency are some of my favorites.
Any serious inputs will be definitely be appreciated by someone.:emoji_thumbsup:
 

Eric Walsh

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 5, 2002
Messages
220
Are you trying to find out about movies that you have not heard about but are still good? (the underated and under appreciated) I'm confused about what you are looking for. And why only have a collection of underated films? If you do that then you are missing out on the highly rated films which are still like those underated gems worth owning. Check out my rather small collection compared to a lot of people here. Those are DVDs I guess I think are worth owning though of course sometimes I just buy DVDs to buy them, it is some sort of disease that I am getting checked out. ;)
-Eric
 

Patrick McCart

Premium
Joined
May 16, 2001
Messages
7,997
Location
Georgia (the state)
Real Name
Patrick McCart
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)

It all too often is overshadowed by the 1959 remake, but is just as good, perhaps BETTER, than the remake. You can find the LD on ebay and the tape at some retailers. The chariot race is a lot better (although the remake's is pretty good) in the silent version. Judah Ben-Hur and Messala are better characterized by Ramon Navarro and Francis X. Bushman (respectively) than in the remake.

It could be my obvious passion for silent cinema, but I find the silent Ben-Hur to be much more exciting than the remake.

Also, The Unknown. It's one of the best films you've probably never heard of. At a brisk time just over an hour, it's a very nasty movie. Only on TCM, of course.
 

Adam_S

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2001
Messages
6,316
Real Name
Adam_S
How Green was My Valley - underappreciated, so excellent it would be hard for me to pick between it and Citizen Kane for best picture, it is the film that did beat CK, and mainly because of this has been snobbily ignored by movie buffs.

Empire of the Sun - Spielberg's finest film in my opinion (though AI Is catching up quickly). I've found this to be disregarded by Spielberg scholars as his failure, because he didn't connect to the audience (ie didn't make money, and he's a blockbuster director); however I find it to be one of the most perfectly executed films ever, an exact three act structure, subtle character development with enormous amounts of depth and shading to the key characters, moments of terror, ectasy, great joy, great sorrow, despair, longing and so much else. Jim's tragic fall from grace (innocence) is profoundly wrought by all the artists involved, the cinematography alone is positively outstanding, I'd love to see it discussed in the nest batch of Cinematography films.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence - John Wayne, paired with Jimmy Stewart for the first time, in a stark swansong to the dying genre of westerns by the Western's greatest champion, John Ford. The preformances are outstanding, the narrative tragic, and the black and white cinematography is outstanding. My single favorite western, sadly not well known.

Lord of the Flies (1963) - This is a dark, faithful and disturbing translation of Golding's brilliant novel. At times it plays more like a documentary, and others slightly stilted and scripted, but the truth and power of Golding's thesis on human nature come through with scathing clarity. One of the first true independent films of the modern sensibility, Lord of the Flies manages towork on many levels, as pure story and as allegory, but it is bound to make you feel, and to make you think, flat out powerful and disturbing.

Adam
 

Tim RH

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
375
Adam_S,
I TOTALLY agree with you about Empire of the Sun. It's one of my favorite Spielberg films (and I've seen them all). Read this review for an interesting analysis. :emoji_thumbsup:
As for another underrated classic, IMHO, look to my signature below! :)
 

David Judah

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 11, 1999
Messages
1,479
Exorcist III
Spanish Prisoner
Dead-Bang
Eyes Wide Shut
Willow
Life of Brian
The Last Temptation of Christ
Manhunter
Edit: Probably one of the biggest ones in recent memory
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Oh, and so many more, but that's all I can think of off the top of my head.
All, IMO, of course. :)
DJ
 

SteveGon

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2000
Messages
12,251
Real Name
Steve Gonzales
Okay, I'll give it a shot.
Assault on Precinct 13 - One of John Carpenter's best films. A group of cops and convicts are trapped in an abandoned police station by a vicious gang. Great suspense with a few unexpected twists.
Limbo - A John Sayles drama set in Alaska. Features one of the best endings I've seen in years.
Little Odessa - Tim Roth stars as a hitman who returns home to visit his family. Depressing, but very good.
Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould - Biography of the famous Canadian pianist, presented in 32 vignettes; the film emulates the structure of Bach's Goldberg Variatons which Gould performed on his debut recording.
The Twelve Chairs - Classic Mel Brooks comedy set in Russia after the revolution. A former aristocrat searches for a chair in which are hidden the family jewels.
Mishima - Biography of Japanese writer Yukio Mishima. This also has a unique structure: Mishima's last days are presented in color, flashbacks to his youth are in black and white, and interspersed thoughout are highly stylized reenactments of passages from his various books.
Hope ya like 'em! :)
 

Jon Robertson

Screenwriter
Joined
May 19, 2001
Messages
1,568
I spend my life searching for underseen and underrated gems.
I'm going to enjoy this list. :)
Those that are linked are to reviews I've done for them.
The Warriors
Link Removed
Silent Running
Mona Lisa
The Stunt Man
In The Mood for Love
Billy Liar
Blood Simple
The Vanishing
The Wicker Man
Buffalo 66
Sisters
Let Sleeping Corpses Lie
Rififi
All That Heaven Allows
Written on the Wind
Shock Corridor
The Naked Kiss
Dark Star
The Harder They Come
Repo Man
Seconds
The Scarlet Empress
George Washington
Badlands
Theater of Blood
Wages of Fear
Diabolique
(1955)
...and I'm done (for now)!
 

Julie K

Screenwriter
Joined
Dec 1, 2000
Messages
1,962
Forgotton Silver - A wonderful look at the history of early New Zealand film pioneer Colin McKenzie. McKenzie invented synchronized sound, developed color film, and filmed inventor Robert Pierce making the first flight before the Wright Brothers. Unfortunately, McKenzie was also extremely unlucky. When this documentary played on TV in NZ, people were amazed and proud. But there was just one minor detail that joker Peter Jackson left out of his little documentary...
Funny and touching at the same time. It's definitely worth a look.
In the Mouth of Madness - One of John Carpenter's underappreciated movies. This is also one of the best Lovecraftian films I've ever seen. Can a hack horror writer have the power to drive his readers mad and change reality? He can if the Old Ones are telling him what to write. A full description is Link Removed but it contains massive spoilers.
Invasion! - Originally titled Top of the Food Chain, I like to promote this whenever I can. I feel it is unknown and underappreciated GEM! If you have a fondness for the old 50s and 60s SF/creature-features, then this is for you. A funny spoof of those old movies as something begins eating residents of the sleepy town Exceptional Vista. And screwing up their TV reception. The comedy is in the dialog so be prepared to listen carefully. There's also something going on with fish here, but I'm not sure what.
I'm at a loss as to why this hasn't become an instant cult classic because it definitely should be.
 

Tim_Prasuhn

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 8, 2002
Messages
206
THE WIZARD OF SPEED AND TIME-

If you can find the tape, you're in for one of the most fun films ever made. Long live Mike Jittlov!
 

Matthew Chmiel

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2000
Messages
2,282
I have to agree with Adam on Empire of the Sun.
100 Girls - A *smart* college comedy about a student named Matthew who has sex with a girl in an elevator during a black out and he has to find out who she is.
Anatomy - A cheesy horror movie from Germany with Franka Potente. It also has a sequel coming out later this year. :emoji_thumbsup:
Better Off Dead... - One of my favorite comedies of all time (comes to DVD in July[/b]).
Brotherhood of the Wolf - Think The Matrix meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets Kickboxer. An excellent film about the true story of the Beast of the Gevaudan. I was one of the sixteen people who saw it in theaters earlier this year (comes to DVD this summer). :)
Dark City - One of the best sci-fi films of all time.
Donnie Darko - In my opinion, the best movie of last year, and the best sci-fi film in recent years.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch - One of the best musicals in years.
Lost and Delirious - A great coming of age story that's about three girls in boarding school. Got a very small release in the US as it was "unrated" (aka NC-17, and it just shows how stupid the MPAA is).
Maelstrom - A talking fish narrates the movie about a woman who "kills" a guy in a hit and run accident. Enough said. :)
The Princess and the Warrior - Another great film by Tom Tykwer. If you don't know who he is, pick up this and Run Lola Run.
I can't think of any more at the moment, but if I do, I'll post them here. :)
 

Jason_Els

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Messages
1,096
The Year of Living Dangerously Outstanding film with Mel and Sigourney suriving Jakarta during the PKI uprisings back in 60s. Steamy weather, steamy mysticism, and a steamy car ride are balanced by an excellent cast, Maurice Jarre's and Vangelis' otherworldly score, and lovely cinematography. It just hits all the right notes and wonderful to watch in winter. It warms you right up!
Eyes of Laura Mars Really good thriller that can actually bring chills. Faye Dunaway is just right and mellower than usual as a high-fashion photographer who can psychically see through the eyes of a serial killer stalking her friends and co-workers. Twist ending with a great score and 70s fashions that are actually attractive help make it more timeless than most 70s movies. Faye's legs in the photo shoot scenes have been branded into my brain since I first saw it. Chilling and not-quite-awake (a good thing) but executed with flair.
The Scarlet Empress Von Sternberg holding the hoops again for Marlene but what hoops! A pre-Hayes code masterpiece with a lusty Marlene and cinematography that is nothing short of breathtaking; it may be the last expressionist movie made and worth every delightful minute. If you've never appreciated German Expressionism this is the distillation for American tastes. It will make you despise Hayes for the 40 years of separate-bed dreck that followed. The Criterion transfer is top-rate.
The Indian Tomb Lang wrote it but Joseph May directed it! It's long and the heroine, who is supposed to be an adverture hero's ingenue, is dumpy and looks way over 40 but who cares?! Expressionism goes to India and it's wonderful fun. Hypnotic, sinister, black and white cinematography makes the orient remote and mysterious again.
Black Orpheus The desolation of Camus mixed in the glamourous riot of Rio at Carnival and gets poured into a Greek tragedy. Poignent and wonderfully sweet, it's overwhelming sadness is strangely uplifting by the end. Delicious cinematography, bull's-eye score, and a tale from the ages. Not exactly underrated but certainly overlooked. Criterion wisely saw fit to publish it.
 

Tim RH

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
375
Here's a few more:
BARTON FINK
CHILDREN OF HEAVEN
CHUNGKING EXPRESS
THE COLOR PURPLE
EUROPA EUROPA
GHOST WORLD
HEARTS IN ATLANTIS
HOUSE OF GAMES
JACKIE BROWN
KING OF COMEDY
THE MAN IN THE MOON
THE STRAIGHT STORY
STRAY DOG
STRICTLY BALLROOM
SUMMER OF '42
TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN
TARGETS
THAT THING YOU DO!
TIME AFTER TIME
TITUS
THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG
WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE?
 

Eric M Jones

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 15, 2000
Messages
393
Benny & Joon. An excellent romatic comedy that stars Johnny Depp in probably one of his best and most over looked performances. best of all you can pick it up for $10.
-EJ
 

Alex Spindler

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2000
Messages
3,971
What? Nobody is going to recommend Druids? ;)
I'll submit:
Zero Effect
Series 7
Bound
Cube
Freeway
House of Games
Stir of Echoes
 

Scott Bell

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 26, 2001
Messages
65
I second (Julie's) Invasion! ...One of the funniest movies that I saw last year.

Tim, I cant believe that anyone else has seen this, I still have this on tape somewhere. Classic movie.
 

Seung Kim

Agent
Joined
Apr 1, 1999
Messages
34
Thank you for all of your inputs. I agree with Dark City. Definitely an original sci-fi.

Now it's time to start viewing some of your suggestions.
 

Randall Dorr

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 11, 2000
Messages
267
by Lars von Trier:

Breaking the Waves

Dancer in the Dark

The Kingdom

The Kingdom II

The Element of Crime

Big Night

Chinese Box

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover

Elizabeth

The Emperor and the Assassin

eXistenZ

Exotica

Get Carter (1971)

Ghost Dog

Happiness

Jacob's Ladder

The Limey

Lolita (1997)

Lone Star

Man Bites Dog

Meet the Feebles

Men With Guns

My Dinner with Andre

Open Your Eyes

Quick Change

Ravenous

Red Rock West

Romper Stomper

Scizopolis

Smoke Signals

Star 80

State of Grace

Sunshine

The Sweet Hereafter

Videodrome

Wag the Dog

Waking Ned Devine

Welcome to the Dollhouse

Woman in the Dunes

Wonderland

The Young Poisoner's Handbook

Your Friends and Neighbors
 

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