Thursday, October 06, 2005

Three Underrated Movies

Name three underrated movies. I need help filling out the Netflix queue

Mine? These are off the top of my head.

Jumanji
This movie received bad reviews primarily because of poor special effects. But come on, people. There is a thing called the "plot." The movie's plot is different from anything that I have been exposed to and its uniqueness makes it hard to classify the film into any particular genre. And Robin Williams and the young Kirsten Dunst put together very fine acting performances that you don't want to miss.

Eleni
This is a story about a mother and her children living through the confusing days of the civil war in Greece. Because of its ideological overtones, the movie got written off as an anti-Communist propaganda film. That is just too bad because it is about the beauty of a mother's love for her children which is deeply touching. On a personal note, I think I like it a lot because the mother in the film reminds me a lot of my own mother. The Cold War is over and so is the debate over Communism, so don't worry about exposing your mind to indoctrination (if there is any).

The Village
That poor guy. In the aftermath of his blockbuster success with the Sixth Sense, movie goers now walk into Night Shyamalan's films bracing for equally suspenseful and shocking endings. People should get a grip, do away with pre-conceived notions, and allow this young talented director to grow without pidgeonholing him.

What are your three? Please comment or better yet write a blog entry about them. Remember, they have to be underrated, which means they have to be either very obscure or disliked and written off by a lot of people and you find yourself in disagreement with them.

9 Comments:

At October 07, 2005 9:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Murder of Crows - A suspense/mystery that has some names in it, but I'll let you figure out the rest.

Big Trouble - It had terrible timing as it was due to be released shortly after 9/11 and had to deal with "terrorists" (just not like you think). Funny and smart comedy.

The Legend of 1900 - An nice dramatic story about a legendairy jazz player (who never existed) who never got off of a cruise ship (back in the high days of cruising) told with some historical accuracy (some)

-Mike

 
At October 08, 2005 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wimbledon (it was really good!)

Bonfire of the Vanities (quirky
but entertaining)

Unbreakable (Knight is the best!)

also:
Raising Arizona (funniest movie of all time)

Man on the Moon & Cable Guy (Jim Carrey not being dumb or Ace Ventura...very nice)

 
At October 08, 2005 8:06 PM, Blogger Brotha Buck said...

I havent seen Jumnji, but I'm a children's book buff, so for that reason alone, I'd probably love the book. I did love the other Chris Van Allsburg inspired movie, the polar express: http://www.chrisvanallsburg.com/flash.html

 
At October 08, 2005 8:27 PM, Blogger Michael the Forgiven said...

That's a tough question, but I'll take stab at it.

NORTHFORK - A team of six black-trench coated men have to evacuate all the people of Northfork, Montana in 1955 because a hydroelectric dam is about to go online and flood their town. And then there are the very odd angels in one of the abandoned houses and the little boy who tries to convince them that he is also an angel, but that his wings have been amputated.

One reviewer describes the movie as visually poetic, but dramatically inert. I can see his point, but loved the story too. This is a love it or hate it film.

With James Woods, Nick Nolte (wonderful performance as the priest trying to minister to a dying orphan), Daryl Hanna, Peter Coyote, Kyle MacLachlan.

MAN ON THE TRAIN - This is a wonderful movie. Here is the description from Rotten Tomatoes.com

In a sleepy French backwater, a train pulls into a deserted station, depositing a lone passenger: a grizzled man in a fringed leather jacket. He looks like a criminal, albeit an aging criminal, a man who has never before asked questions of life or made deep connections with anybody, arriving for a final showdown, and he is. But, within minutes, he bumps into a local retired poetry teacher in dapper clothes, a man who looks like someone waiting for something exciting to happen, who appears perfectly settled in his life, and he was.until now. Suddenly, these two disparate men are about to find, at the very end of the line, an unexpected friendship, an opportunity to look back on their dashed hopes, and a magical, momentary chance to explore the road not taken.

BEING THERE: An older film which I saw for the first time recently. A fascinating, fun film. Again, here is the RottenTomatoes.com synopsis: BEING THERE is based on Jerzy Kosinski’s short comic novel about a simpleton, Chance (Peter Sellers), raised in isolation whose only education came from watching TV. When he’s forced out of the house where he worked as a gardener by the death of the wealthy recluse who raised him from infancy, he’s fortuitously struck by a limousine carrying Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine), the wife of a wealthy industrialist. He’s mistaken, because of his well-tailored suits, for a man of means and taken to dinner with her husband, Ben Rand (Melvyn Douglas). There, as Chauncy Gardner, his blank affect is taken for seriousness and his literal pronouncements about gardening for metaphoric economic predictions. Soon he’s meeting the president (Jack Warden) and becoming a star on TV--where he’s a natural.

Other films that I considered including in the top three were:

Old Boy (Korean film being remade in English)
Kagemusha (Kurosawa)
Solaris (The Russian version)
Insomnia (The Norwegian version)
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
The Snow Walker
In America
The Motorcycle Diaries
Donnie Darko (now a cult classic)
The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Never Cry Wolf
The Return (a Russian import)
Asoka (Bollywood)
Instinct
Pollock
Requiem for a Dream
House of Sand and Fog
Iron and Silk

I did not include them, either because I liked the other films more, or because these were not all that underrated.

A great resource for movie reviews is: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/ They compile scores on movies based on reviews from every major source, and even some lesser sources. I have found their ratings to be pretty reliable.

 
At October 08, 2005 8:33 PM, Blogger Michael the Forgiven said...

brotha buck,

Van Allsburg is great, isn't he? My first Van Allsburg was "The Mysteries of Harris Burdick". I got it when my sons were young. I would make up stories from the pictures and keep them entertained for quite a while.

I think Stephen King wrote a short story based on the picture of the house taking off. If I remember correctly, the story sucked.

 
At October 10, 2005 6:38 AM, Blogger Brotha Buck said...

I'll have to check out Harris Burdick, I havent heard of that one.

 
At October 13, 2005 1:05 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Dave - after that one movie, I know never to take movie advice from you. No offense. :)

 
At October 13, 2005 11:40 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

Thanks Michael. I will certainly add those to my Netflix queue.

 
At October 19, 2005 4:19 PM, Blogger Bad Alice said...

Oh, I loved The Village, too. I thought it was an interesting meditation on how you can't insulate yourself from evil.

My number one underrated movie of all time is Beatrice, sometimes called The Passion of Beatrice. I rarely meet anyone who has ever heard of it. I think it was well enough thought of at the time of its release, but I rarely hear of it anymore. It would make a great double feature with Kingdom of Heaven.

And, yep, Van Allsburg rocks!

 

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