Jump to content
JJ95

Overlooked great movies

Recommended Posts

After recently watching "A Most Wanted Man" and being completely blown away by PSH's performance in it and the near perfect storytelling I was shocked to see that hardly anyone was really talking about that movie when it was released and even afterwards even less so.

 

Therefore, I was thinking: What are some of your "overlooked great movies"?

 

Maybe we can point some more people to those forgotten treasures...

Share this post


Link to post

If you enjoyed A Most Wanted Man, you'd probably like Anton Corbin's other stuff. The American and Control are both worth watching. As far as obscure cinema, it really depends on who you are as to what I would consider obscure. Setting my Letterboxd library to sort by popularity, the least rated things that I'd recommend are Bill Plympton's surreal greaser love story Hair High and Steven Okazaki's way too real HBO doc Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street. Bill Plympton is widely known for his debut film which he single handedly animated. He gets weird and poignant with it. The heroin documentary is self-explanatory. It follows the lives of a bunch of junkies over a period of months. You see their ups and downs. Really grungy.

Share this post


Link to post

Reading this thread's title, the first thing popping into my mind is Tom Ford's A Single Man. I'm not sure how overlooked this film actually is, since Colin Firth was nominated for a bunch of awards, but I can't help but think that this one's sorrowly underseen. Apart from looking great and having some neat performances by both Julianne Moore and Colin Firth, it kind of taps into an aspect of a gay guy's life which I haven't seen: Because you love the world, but the world doesn't quite accept you, you have to build your own world with your own people. And because you just feel safer and more comfortable in this private world, you start to lose touch with the real world. To me, this film is about how the real world forcefully invades the private world. And to wrap this message up in an extremly watchable, appealing, great-looking film, that's a feat in itself.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

David Mamet's HEIST(2001) is an overlooked one among his films, I think. If you watch a lot of heist or big score movies (I got on a kick of these a few years ago) I think you'll appreciate how it subverts the typical set up of those types of movies. Usually they spend the 1st two acts or so "teaching" the audience every bit of the plan for the job, setting up the drama in the 3rd act when things go awry. But HEIST keeps the actual plan close to Mamet's chest during all the set up, so when it starts to go down, you're not sure if what you're seeing is planned or not.

 

And that cast is great: Hackman, Lindo, Devito, Rockwell, and the immortal Ricky Jay. If nothing else, you'll get to watch some old pros chew on some dialogue that's worthy of them. (Hackman's last line to Devito is perfect)

Share this post


Link to post

Loooooove A Most Wanted Man. Think it's devastating. These are movies in my top 10% that most don't mark, setting aside some top-flight directors that made recent masterpieces.

-Mauvais sang, Leos Carax, Netflix

-The Only Son, Yasujiro Ozu, Hulu Plus

-A Most Violent Year, JC Chandor, Amazon Prime

-The Assassin, Hsiao-Hsien Hou, Netflix

-Zardoz, John Boorman

-Frank, Lenny Abrahamson, Netflix

-Pain & Gain, Michael Bay

-School Daze, Spike Lee

-Dear White People, Justin Simien

-You, The Living, Roy Andersson

-The Double, Richard Ayaode, Netflix

-Love & Mercy, Bill Pohlad

-Behind the Candelabra, Steven Soderbergh, HBO

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I agree with some of the films mentioned above, especially:

- The American: beautiful, and I love the glacial pace.

 

- A Single Man: Colin Firth's best performance bar none. The visuals alone would make this a must see: every frame is a perfect shot.

 

Here are a few more which I think have fallen behind the cupboard of pop culture attention:

- Kung Fu Hustle: Stephen Chow is a comedy genius, and this is him at his best. The impossibly stylish comic book visuals underpin a script whose beats would not be out of place in the Classic Hollywood era. I could watch this all day.

 

Brother: Beat Takeshi's flawed and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to break into America is a parable of heartbreak and of the nihilism of violence. Not a casual watch, but a very affecting film.

 

Thief: Michael Mann's first feature was probably his best until Collateral came along. If you can, watch the remastered Blu-Ray, from the 4K print - look amazing.

 

Contagion: Soderbergh's underrated masterpiece is touching, unflinching and clinically (sorry!) precise.

 

Legion. Paul Bethany turns up in a remote roadside dinner to announce the end of the world; proceed to Cancel the Apocalypse by shooting the archangel Gabriel. No popcorn left unconsumed.

Share this post


Link to post

I have a feeling absolutely nobody will back me on this, but my favorite film of 2012 (an amaze-balls year*, up there with 2007) was Anna Karenina, the third film - and first notably good one - by Joe Wright and Keira Knightley. Unlike their earlier Pride & Prejudice, this was a very effective condensation of a longer book (twice the length of P&P!) that used highly, HIGHLY theatrical visual conceits to move the story along, tacitly acknowledging the stagey formula of such a classic adaptation, without once descending into pointless infodumps or ridiculous vaudeville-ian slapstick to push pure emotion over character. And, aside from my local paper's reviewer-of-all-things-costume-y, I haven't encountered another soul who has since singled this film out for praise. I think it's one of the most effective and inventive literary adaptations in years, and to condense a HUUUGE 19th-century Russian novel into barely two hours, without jettisoning the B-plot or missing out on the A-plot's big love triangle, was simply brilliant.

 

But it's a literary adaptation. Of an old story. I know that's the kind of thing usually relegated to "Masterpiece Theatre" (or whatever the contemporary equivalent is these days), but it's SOOO much more inventive than the typical "prestige production". If you like 19th-century-based costume dramas at all, give it a chance! It's relatively short, but it's got everything it needs to work. For me, it beat out Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), the most gut-punchingly emotionally-accurate coming-of-age movie of my lifetime (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), the best Hollywood action film in a decade (Dredd), and the best anywhere action movie in I-don't-know-how-long (The Raid) to top my list of the very best year of my known moviegoing existence.

 

And I've never heard anyone speak of it since. I am sad now.

 

* - No, I'm not 13, but that's the word that came to mind, and I'm sticking with it

 

 

-Pain & Gain, Michael Bay

 

My biggest guilty pleasure of 2013. It was a weird mood that led me to the cineplexes that day, but I came out beaming and feeling slightly slimy. The first Michael Bay film I actually enjoyed (of not very many).

Share this post


Link to post

After recently watching "A Most Wanted Man" and being completely blown away by PSH's performance in it and the near perfect storytelling I was shocked to see that hardly anyone was really talking about that movie when it was released and even afterwards even less so.

 

Therefore, I was thinking: What are some of your "overlooked great movies"?

 

Maybe we can point some more people to those forgotten treasures...

 

A Most Wanted Man made my top 10 list for 2014. Thus, I agree.

 

I would say that The American is one of the overlooked greats as well, also Anton Corbijn.

 

Some others for me are A Single Man (Tom Ford), Melancholia (Lars von Trier), Frida (Julie Taymor), and Glengarry Glen Ross (James Foley).

Share this post


Link to post

In the great overlooked movies category, My Father's Glory and My Mother's Castle are two great companion movies about childhood and nostalgia that are probably a little quaint for internet cinephiledom, which tends towards harder, edgier fare. It's hard to think of movies that deal with having a great childhood and the sharp pain of time ebbing that childhood away as well as these movies do.

 

Jan Švankmajer's Faust is also underseen with his go-to recommended feature generally being Alice. It's clever, fun and alive with creativity. If you're a fan of Terry Gilliam's animation or features, Švankmajer's influence on Gilliam will be readily apparent. A must see for stop motion animation fans.

 

Finally, I think people who are fans of blaxploitation and/or the dark surrealist satires of the late 60s/early 70s should check out Larry Cohen's Bone. It features really great central performances by Yaphet Kotto and Joyce Van Patten and is really worth a watch, especially if you're a fan of movies like Putney Swope, Smile or Little Murders (also three great comedies worth tracking down).

Share this post


Link to post

Meek's Cutoff is my favorite modern Western not named There Will Be Blood, but doesn't often get mentioned alongside True Grit, No Country, Assassination of Jesse James, 3:10 to Yuma, Django Unchained and the other acclaimed Westerns of the last couple years.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×