Sunday, May 25, 2014

Some Films I Love That Were...Different

Well, It's Memorial Day Weekend! Barbecues, and parties, etc, and some people like watching movies this weekend. It's the Summer Blockbuster weekend! And although I can't wait to see the new X-Men movie, I'm not going this weekend. I'll wait three weeks and then go late on a Monday night. It reduces the risk of encountering drunk kids and stupid. A friend recently commented that my lists about movies are often about popular and major studio pictures, and that I don't post on lesser known films. It's hard to put together a list of movies you think many people haven't seen. My attitude is usually that if a lot of people haven't seen a movie - there's a reason. I also have to keep in mind, that I don't always like what everyone else likes, and some of the films on this list prove that.
I left off the list some of the Indie hits like Lost In Translation, and The Royal Tenenbaums. Both are great movies, but I think most people who like movies have seen them.

*This list is not about movies that I am calling great films, it's about movies that I liked, sometimes when not many other people did. The Amateurs got very low ratings while everyone seemed to love A History Of Violence, and I have never met anyone who saw Another Earth.  I tried to mix it up. Some Sci-Fi, Horror, Romantic Comedy, A Play, A Drama, and one that's a bit of a mixture of a few.

Twice Upon A Yesterday (1998) - Lena Headey, Douglas Henshall, Penélope Cruz
Also known as The Main With Rain In His Shoes -"A shambling, out-of-work actor, desperate to win back the affections of his ex-girlfriend, unexpectedly stumbles upon a way to turn back the clock." IMBD
This is one of my favorite movies. A great quote keeps popping up in it "Don't look for this years birds, in last years nest"

The Amateurs (2005) - Jeff Bridges, Ted Danson, Joe Pantoliano. Abunch of broke small town morons decide to make money by making an adult film. I thought Ted Danson was hilarious in it.
It got destroyed on Rotten Tomatoes...I loved it.

Swimming With Sharks (1994) - Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley, Michelle Forbes
Kevin Spacey plays a Hollywood Producer/ Director you'd like to kill. A great line in it: "Never go to a meeting that can start without you"

Another Earth (2011)  - A tiny planet appears in the sky one night and a college aged girl gets changed by it. I'm not giving anything else away. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it for a low budget film. It is probably considered Sci-Fi but there are very few special effects. It's not that kind of film.

The Secretary (1995) - James Spader, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Based on a short story from Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill, "Explores the relationship between a sexually dominant man and his submissive secretary." Yeah, that's one way to put it - Don't watch this one with the kids...

Just Like Heaven (2005)  - Mark Ruffalo and Reese Witherspoon in what some might see as your typical cute romantic comedy. I caught this one night at three am when I couldn't sleep. I watched a few minutes and thought it was silly. As I kept watching I thought his acting considering the subject was impressive. I wound up watching the whole thing, and loved it.

Dummy (2002) -  Adrien Brody, Milla Jovovich Written and Directed by Greg Pritikin. About a guy who can't function in the real world therefore he becomes a ventriloquist so the Dummy can talk for him. And if that doesn't make you want to see it...I thought it was great but this is a strange movie. I've suggested it to a few people who absolutely hated it. - just a warning.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)  Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks. Written and directed by Kevin Smith. Of all of Smith's films this might be my favorite. Not at all what the title suggests.

Warm Bodies (2013) - Ok, not an Indie film, and not what anyone would call brilliant but there is a joke in the beginning which got my attention and it makes you realize that the movie is being told from the Zombies perspective. Just based on that I had to see where it was going...I thought it was cute, and fun, and different. I usually hate zombie movies, if you've seen one you've seen them all. Not this time.


A History Of Violence (2005) - Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, William Hurt. This one wasn't really unheard of since it won an Academy Award, yet I meet a lot of people who haven't seen it. I think the title scares some people away. It is kinda violent...but a fantastic movie.

Crash (1996) - James Spader, Holly Hunter - Couples "get off" by getting into car accidents...awesome.

The Guard (2011) - Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong
An Irish comedy about a regular Irish cop, Gleeson, who has to work with American FBI agent, Cheadle to stop some drug smugglers. The absolute funniest movie I have seen in years, if you have sort of a bent sense of humor.

The Big Kahuna (1999) - Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, and Peter Fascinelli. Not just number one on this list, one of my favorite movies of all time. Three guys, in a room, talking for the whole movie. Nothing gets blown up or eaten by aliens. Danny Devito's little speech at the end should be taught in schools.

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