Sunday, August 10, 2003

After reading that great list about the 12 most underrated movies of all time (although I would really not consider "Saturday Night Fever" underrated) I decided I would chime in with 12 more that if you haven't seen, you definately should.

12 Underrated Films

12. ROAD GAMES - Jaime Lee Curtis is well known for her string of horror movies she did starting out. Everyone talks about "Halloween I and II," "Prom Night," and "Terror Train," but everyone seems to forget about "Road Games." And that's too bad, because besides "Halloween," this is the only other one that's any good. Stacy Keach plays a truck driver traveling through the Australian outback with his pet dingo, picks up hitchiking Jaime Lee, and gets involved in the pursuit of a serial killer that's on the same route as him. Sounds silly, and for the most part is. However, this movie works solely on the basis of ... (and this is the first and only time you will ever get this sentence out of me) ... an incredible Stacy Keach performance. This movie breaks one of all time rules for characters in films; the rule is the characters should never talk to themselves, but in this film it actually works. You definately have to see this one to understand, but it's worth it.

11. SILVERADO - There weren't very many westerns in the eighties, but Lawerence Kasdan made one, and the only thing it managed to do was start the career of Kevin Costner, but then was quickly forgotten when he had about eight straight hits after it. I'm for the most part not a huge western fan, but while a bit uneven and a bit too long,this is one of my favorites. The cast is awesome (Scott Glenn, Kevin Kline, John Cleese, and the aforementioned Costner; this is when he actually showed some emotion.) I'm also not a huge Kasdan fan, but he has an obvious love of westerns and it shows in the inspired direction this movie is given. He does a great job of playing against stereotypes. Danny Glover is not allowed to stay in a town because he is black, but John Cleese (a Brit) is allowed to be the sheriff of the town. This movie is a hell of a lot of fun.

10. ZERO EFFECT - Bill Pullman gives one of my top ten favorite all time performances in this film. The character of Daryll Zero, a modern day Sherlock Holmes is a classically written (by Jake Kasdan, son of Lawrence oddly enough) and Pullman pulls off every line of dialouge with a lot of wit and substance. The mystery is pretty moot; this movie is all about the Zero. And Ben Stiller is an adamant Watson. This is one of those few movies I really wish they could have made a sequel to, but alas it did not make enough money. When people actually start paying to go see good movies these kinds of lists won't be necessary.

9. THE SURE THING - While "Say Anything" is the well known John Cusack romantic comedy from the eighties, and actually is a bit better, this should be added to a double bill any night of the week. Cusack and Daphne Zerig take the predictable road trip for ridiculous reasons and end up falling in love. However, director Rob Reiner (when he was good at making movies) adds enough quirks and unpredictability to make it well worth your time. After you see this you will know why "Did you know that Nietchze died of Syphillis?" is the greatest pick-up line ever.

8. THREE KINGS - When asked what your favorite war film is, most people will answer "Platoon" or "Apocalypse Now." I'd take "Three Kings" over them any day of the week. And I love those two films, but "Three Kings" is the most unique film to come out of this genre, and if you've seen it you'll know what I mean. George Clooney, Ice Cube, and Mark Wahlberg take a break from Desert Storm to find some treasure and save some hostages. And what unfolds from there is pure genius.

7. ANGEL HEART - Private Investigator, Mickey Rourke, takes on a client who may or may not be the devil (Robert DeNiro). He gets involved in some good ole fashioned New Orleans voodoo, and makes love to Lisa Bonet while blood is dripping down on them. A very strange film, from one of the strangest directors of our times, Alan Parker. This man will jump genres like it's nobody's business (From "Mississippi Burning" to "Evita"). This movie always stands out for me as a truly original and creepy film with one of the greatest twist endings you will ever see. Mickey Rourke is fascinating, and if you look at his early work such as this and "Diner," you couldl arguably say that he is one of our most underrated actors, but that descent into personal madness probably didn't help him. On a dark and stormy night check this film out; it will be worth it.

6. ANY GIVEN SUNDAY - Let's face it, there aren't that many memorable football films, and maybe that's why no one cared about this one. That's too bad, because it's pretty damn good. The funny thing is that the best parts are not the football games. It's all the things that happen outside the game that provide great drama and there is more scenery chewing in this film by the likes of Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, and James Woods, than you are likely to ever see in a film. Oliver Stone never seems to get this one mentioned in all the write-ups on him, and he's made much better films. But if some no name had done this as a debut it would have been herald as a hell of a promising start.

5. THE LAST BOY SCOUT - This kind of came at the tail end of Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckenheimer's first rise to fame storyline. They of course picked right back up with "The Rock," and all of the macho brazen films that Bruckenheimer has produced since. But I'll take this over "Top Gun," "Days of Thunder," and "Beverly Hills Cop" even. Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans deliver a lot of great one-liners in this film and there is so much action you won't know what to do with it. This movie oddly enough also deals with football. If you're looking for a great silly action movie that you've never seen then this is the one to check out.

4. STARMAN - This movie actually made some money in 1984. It was actually John Carpenter's last film that made any money, but no one really talks about it anymore. This is one of my personal favorite love stories to ever grace the screen. Jeff Bridges plays the alien, Karen Allen plays the human. They bring animals back to life, learn about each others cultures, and fall madly in love. The movie still brings a tear to my eye; it sounds cheesy as hell, but it really does work, I promise. It's a very beautiful film.

3. BLOW OUT - This was actually a remake, or a re-imaging if you will of Antonionin's great sixties film, "Blow-Up." As good as that film is, I think this one is better. John Travolta plays a sound effects guy who gets involved in a conspiracy involving a serious political cover-up. However what's real and what's not is a very thin line, and Travolta does a very convincing job of making us want to cross it with him. I love early Brian DePalma films, and this is really his best from that era.

2. DIGGSTOWN - A "Sting" for the nineties. James Woods plays a con artist who winds up in the town of Diggstown. He bets the town's owner, a manical Bruce Dern, that he has a boxer, a very funny Louis Gossett Jr., who can defeat the ten best Diggstown residents in a 24 hour period. If Woods wins, he gets the town. This is a broad concept that plays out beautifully. This is probably my second or third favorite sports film of all time; this movie is fucking hillarious. If neither one of you have seen this, rent it immediately. I mean immediately.

1. UNBREAKABLE - Hot off the sucess of "The Sixth Sense," M. Night Shylaman directed an even better follow-up. A bunch of people saw it on opening weekend, and then quickly forgot about it. Bruce Willis plays a man who may or may not be a superhero, and Samuel L. Jackson plays the mysterious stranger who is determined to help him find out. This is what a superhero movie should be. As much as I love "Spiderman" and "Superman II," this one puts them to shame. I know Chris has seen it, but I'm not sure about Mike, so I don't want to give too much away. It's just a hell of a film; trust me on that, Mike.


Post a Comment

<< Home