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Author Topic: Good Movies No One Has Ever Heard Of...  (Read 5047 times)
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PeteRock
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« on: May 22, 2008, 09:10:47 PM »

I enjoy adding lesser-known films to my collection, especially when they are surprisingly good or entertaining.  I also really enjoy sharing these movies with friends as they would never have discovered them otherwise.  For example, there was once a time when Boondock Saints was nothing more than a bargain title during its release and few had ever heard of it.  The moment a group of us watched it together it immediately became a cult favorite.  Layer Cake is another title few have heard of (at least at the time of its release), and it is one of my favorite films in my collection.

Some other lesser-known favorites include District B13, Ghost Dog, Spartan, Equilibrium, Ong-Bak, Poolhall Junkies, Bubba Ho-Tep, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Snatch, Oldboy (although I don't think I could ever subject any of my friends to that film - I think I found myself curled in a fetal position in the shower scrubbing my eyes with steel wool at the film's close), and many others I am forgetting at the moment.  Recently Moliere suggested a handful of films and I should receive them sometime next week from BestBuy.com (You Move You Die, Stickmen, and The Salton Sea).  I am hoping others can share some suggestions that I may have missed, or may not even know about.  They don't have to be critically acclaimed or fit within any particular genre (as made apparent by my own list), and I'm open to all sorts of suggestions.  I'm mainly just looking for lesser-known, quality films no one has heard of.

Here are some of my personal favorites with summaries taken from RottenTomatoes.com:

District B13: Both of the leads in the French action flick DISTRICT B13 practice parkour, a kind of urban gymnastics that looks a little like skateboarding without the skateboard, and the pleasure of this short frenetic film is watching the two lithe heroes leap through windows, run up walls, and jump off buildings. Like Jackie Chan, Cyril Raffaelli, and David Belle, both stuntmen-turned-leading-men perform their own acrobatic martial arts sans special effects or invisible wires, and the lo-fi fight sequences pack a gritty punch that is often missing in slick Hollywood fare. The plot involves a futuristic France where the worst ghettos have been walled off from the rest of society, their schools shut down, and the police force evacuated. The people in power simply want to ignore the plight of the disenfranchised, but this becomes difficult to do when the most notorious gang, led by the wild-eyed Taha (Bibi Naceri), gets its hands on a nuclear warhead and proceeds to demand a 20-million-Euro ransom, with the city of Paris as its hostage. Enter Damien (Raffaelli), a one-man police strike force, who has 24 hours to disarm the missile. To help him navigate the war zone of District B13, he springs a vigilante antihero, Leito (Belle), from jail. Leito has personal reasons for taking down the crime lord: Taha has turned Leito's adolescent sister into his junkie pet. As the ultra-athletic duo go up against Taha's gangster army, they repeatedly (and conveniently) lose their guns, and are forced to improvise, thrashing goons with steering wheels, cinder blocks, and their foreheads. The screenplay (written by Luc Besson, director of LA FEMME NIKITA) and the blunt political critique are a bit heavy-handed, but obviously that's beside the point. Lovers of action flicks could ignore the English subtitles completely and still relish the hyperkinetic beauty of the whip-quick combat.

Layer Cake:  LAYER CAKE, a riveting thriller set in the drug underworld of the UK, marks the directorial debut of producer Mathew Vaughn (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) and stars Daniel Craig, Colm Meaney, Kenneth Cranham, George Harris, Jamie Foreman, Sienna Miller and Michael Gambon. Sleek, well dressed and polite, our unnamed hero (Daniel Craig) is a consummate professional. Treating cocaine and ecstasy like any other commodity, he has made a fortune for himself by keeping his hands clean and staying under the radar. Having made the decision to retire, his aim is to break free from the world of crime, drugs and violence and live a simple, quiet life with the money he has amassed. But before this can happen, crime boss Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham) wants two last favors from him. First, he must track down the missing, drug addict daughter of powerful criminal Eddie Temple (Michael Gambon). Second, he must negotiate the sale of a huge shipment of ecstasy with The Duke (Jamie Foreman), a loose cannon petty crook playing well out of his league. What should be routine transaction is anything but and nothing goes according to plan. Instead, duplicity and hidden alliances become the order of the day, in a struggle for power that reaches from the crack dens of London to the highest ranks of British society. Quickly he learns he is part of a machine much greater than he imagined, and getting out won't be quite as easy as getting in. Sony Pictures Classics presents a Matthew Vaughn Production, LAYER CAKE, starring Daniel Craig, Colm Meaney, Kenneth Cranham, George Harris, Jamie Foreman, Sienna Miller and Michael Gambon. Written by author J.J. Connolly (adapted from his novel of the same name), the film is produced by Vaughn, David Reid and Adam Bohling. The Executive Producer is Stephen Marks, Director of Photography is Ben Davis, Editor is Jon Davis and Production Designer is Kave Quinn.

Equilibrium:  In a futuristic world, a strict regime has eliminated war by suppressing emotions: books, art and music are strictly forbidden and feeling is a crime punishable by death. Clerick John Preston (Christian Bale) is a top ranking government agent responsible for destroying those who resist these rules. When he misses a dose of Prozium, a mind-altering drug that hinders emotion, Preston, who has been trained to enforce the strict laws of the new regime, suddenly becomes the only person capable of overthrowing it.

Ong-Bak:  Tony Jaa follows in the powerful martial arts footsteps of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li in ONG-BAK: THE THAI WARRIOR, one of the first films to center on the ancient fighting system of Muay Thai, which utilizes the body's limbs to potentially devastating effect. Jaa stars as Ting, a quiet young man who lives in the peaceful village of Nong Pradu. As the village's special celebration approaches, a Bangkok villain named Don (Wannakit Siriput) steals the head of the Buddha statue Ong-Bak, which is said to protect the village from bad luck. Ting volunteers to go to the big city to bring back the head of Ong-Bak, but remembers what he was taught by sage monk Pra Cru (Woranard Tantipidok): he must not use his Muay Thai skills to harm people. However soon after arriving in Bangkok, Ting, a peaceful fish out of water, finds that the only way to recapture the village's sacred treasure is by using his arms, his legs--and his head. Influenced by the films of Thai action star Phanna Rithikrai, director Prachya Pinkaew hired the Muay Thai expert to serve as martial arts and stunt choreographer for ONG-BAK, resulting in highly effective and believable scenes between Ting and a multitude of criminals and evil boxers out to get him. Pinkaew adds a fun sense of humor to the serious story, not only in some of the crazy stunts but also in the character of George, played by Thai comic Petchthai Wongkamlao. Jaa is charmingly fearless in the lead role, performing all his own stunts without any special effects, computer enhancement, or ropes.

Poolhall Junkies:  Pool hustling isn't everything it used to be, but it's still all about the cash. Joe (Chazz Palminteri) a shady pool hustler well-past his prime, is obsessed with the game and the cash and is willing to use anyone to get what he wants -- especially his young protégé Johnny (Mars Callahan). In the tradition of The Hustler, Gold Circle Films presents a Mars Callahan film, the story of a young pool shark who shoots lights out and wants to become a professional pool player. Joe is convinced that Johnny moves the rock (the cue ball) better than the best hustlers ever did, but Johnny's dreams are a cut above this life and senses that Joe is holding him back. After fifteen years playing Joe's angles, Johnny's sick of the con and wants to leave the hustle behind. After discovering Joe’s underhanded and self-serving manipulations Johnny finally has the guts to leave Joe. But "payback's a bitch" and Joe won't be taken so easily. On his own, Johnny quickly discovers the tedium of the "real" world and a life without pool. After trudging to work at a series of loser day jobs, Johnny is miserable and bored, and itches to have his cue in hand again. Through his law student girlfriend, Tara (Alison Eastwood), who loves Johnny but not the games he plays, he meets wealthy lawyer Mike (Christopher Walken) who becomes a fan of Johnny's game. Without Joe in his life, Johnny's "family" consists of the guys he knows from his favorite pool hall "Hardtimes" and its proprietor Nick ( Rod Steiger). Hungry for action, he finds himself spending most of his time there. Central to the pool hall is his younger brother Danny (Michael Rosenbaum) who, along with an entourage of good-for-laughs-die-for-you best friends, is attempting to follow in Johnny's footsteps. Meanwhile Joe is bent on revenge for Johnny's defiance and now he has a new protégé Brad (Rick Schroder), who is just as good, if not better than Johnny. Joe's got his eye on hustling Danny and his friends. Soon, Brad and Danny are playing a high-stakes game of pool ending with Danny owing Joe a huge sum of money, with no way to pay him. Desperate for cash, Danny enacts a heist to pay off Joe, but everything goes wrong and soon Johnny finds his brother in jail. With options and time running out, Johnny must make a final stand against his former mentor, Joe and the result is a "race to nine" showdown with Brad "the pro". The stakes are high -- with Johnny’s future, Mike's bankroll, Danny's bail money, and of course, the "love of a good woman" all on the table!

Boondock Saints:  Fraternal twins Conner (Flanery - SUICIDE KINGS) and Murphey (Reedus - GOSSIP) MacMannus are on a mission from God to rid Boston of crime. However, instead of signing up for the police force, these hard-drinking Irish-American brothers take the law into their own hands a la Charles Bronson in DEATH WISH. Heralded as saints by the city's beleaguered residents, the brothers also attract the attention of Paul Smecker (Dafoe - EXISTENZ), the openly gay FBI special agent assigned to investigate the spate of killings amongst the ranks of the Russian mafia. First-time director Duffy pulls out all the breaks in this inventive, action-packed thriller sure to please fans of HARD BOILED and RESERVOIR DOGS.

True Romance:  When inexperienced call girl Alabama Whitman (Patricia Arquette) is paid to seduce comic-book-nerd and Elvis fanatic Clarence Worley (Christian Slater), she doesn't expect to fall for him. But these two lost souls seem to be made for each other and quickly pledge their love, marrying at Detroit's city hall. Clarence discovers some newfound bravado and attempts to retrieve Alabama's possessions from her pimp, Drexl (Gary Oldman), who isn't exactly eager to let Alabama go. Fleeing Drexl's apartment, Clarence not only leaves a trail of bodies, but also inadvertently mistakes a suitcase of uncut cocaine for one with his wife's clothing, and the chase is on. The unlikely newlyweds head for Los Angeles hoping to sell the cocaine and make enough money to leave the country. Unfortunately, they also have to contend with the mob, yuppie drug dealers and the police. Michael Rapaport is amusing as Clarence's best friend who lives with Floyd, a stoner played by Brad Pitt. A sedate Dennis Hopper appears as Clarence's father, who ultimately faces off with mob boss Vincenzo Coccotti (Christopher Walken). Director Tony Scott (CRIMSON TIDE, ENEMY OF THE STATE) does justice to the violence and quirkiness of Quentin Tarantino's second feature film script.

...

The rest will be included in a subsequent post as I've exceeded the maximum allowed post length of 20,000 characters once again.   disgust
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 09:18:15 PM by PeteRock » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2008, 09:11:10 PM »

And here are the rest of my suggestions:

Bubba Ho-Tep:  Don Coscarelli's BUBBA HO-TEP finds Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) alive but not so well, living in a small Texas nursing home. Although he's preoccupied with his ailments and his memories, the elderly Elvis befriends another resident who thinks he's John F. Kennedy (Ossie Davis) when they both begin to suspect that their neighbors aren't dying of natural causes. Their investigation leads to the discovery of an evil mummy with a fondness for cowboy gear and an appetite for the souls of senior citizens. Armed with little more than a walker and a wheelchair, the King and JFK must take on this ancient evil. Based on a short story by Joe R. Lansdale, BUBBA HO-TEP mixes comedy, drama, and horror to create a remarkably quirky film. As the aged and ailing Elvis, Campbell gives an outstandingly funny and poignant performance, while Davis exudes intelligence and warmth as JFK. Although horror is a key element of the story, much of the movie focuses on the life of Elvis and his new friendship with the former president, leading to many oddly comical scenes and even a few genuinely touching moments. Of course, their embalmed foe and his creepy minions must be confronted, making this the first movie about Elvis and JFK to appeal to horror enthusiasts, or, conversely, the first horror movie to appeal to Elvis and JFK enthusiasts. Either way, it's a highly unconventional tale that no adventurous filmgoer should miss.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang:  Harry Lockhart (ROBERT DOWNEY JR.) is basically a decent guy. Sure, he's a petty thief who skates through life on a shaky cocktail of dog-eared charm and cockeyed optimism, but he wants to do the right thing. He just doesn't know how, exactly. Harry's perpetual bad luck takes a turn for the better when he and his partner are doing some after-hours Christmas "shopping" at a New York City toy store and the security alarm breaks up the party. (Yeah, it sounds like trouble, but keep reading.) In making his frantic getaway from the cops, Harry inadvertently stumbles into an audition for a Hollywood detective movie, and faster than you can say Jack Robinson, the producer flies him to Los Angeles for a screen test. Thrust into the cutthroat world of L.A.'s pros, cons, losers and wannabes, Harry is teamed with tough-guy private eye Perry van Shrike (VAL KILMER), AKA "Gay Perry," to prepare him for his screen test. Gay Perry is ruthless, relentlessly tough and - you guessed it - gay. He also has little patience for Harry, who tries out his acting skills by passing himself off as a detective. It seems like nothing short of destiny when the thief-trying- to-be-an-actor- impersonating-a-detective crosses paths with Harmony Faith Lane (MICHELLE MONAGHAN), an aspiring actress who needs his help. Inspired by her hero Jonny Gossamer, a fictitious hard-boiled private eye featured in a series of pulp detective novels, Harmony moved to Hollywood to pursue her dreams...but a few years and a lot of rejections later, she's facing the harsh reality that her best days may be behind her. When the mysterious suicide of Harmony's sister intersects with a seemingly unrelated case that Harry and Gay Perry are investigating, they suddenly find themselves embroiled in a real-life murder mystery. Bodies surface and re-surface...long-buried family secrets erupt in present-day mayhem...and what began as a free trip to L.A. may result in Harry's one-way ticket to the city morgue. If he's going to stay alive and become the hero that Harmony needs him to be, Harry will have to convince a reluctant Gay Perry to help him solve the case. He'll need to channel Jonny Gossamer's tough-as-nails swagger. And a little dose of luck - or is it fate? - wouldn't hurt, either.

Spartan:  Robert Scott (VAL KILMER) is a career military officer working in a highly secretive special operations force. A man hardened by years of brutal service, he is respected by his peers and elders in the world of espionage. When Scott is recruited to find Laura Newton (KRISTEN BELL), the daughter of a high-ranking government official, he is paired with novice Curtis (DEREK LUKE), who becomes his protégé. Working with a special task force comprised of Presidential Advisors, the Secret Service, FBI and CIA, Scott and Derek stumble upon a white slavery ring, which may have some connection to Laura’s disappearance. As the story unfolds, the straightforward search-and-rescue mission becomes complicated by the political ambitions of those in high places – like Stoddard (WILLIAM H. MACY), a political operative who may know more than he’s telling about the clandestine circumstances surrounding Laura’s abduction. Scott and Curtis are at the brink of tracking Laura’s whereabouts when the mission comes to an abrupt conclusion, with the media issuing reports of the girl’s death. Scott returns to the quiet life of landowner in a rural location and awaits his next assignment in relative peace. But Curtis can’t rest. In his naiveté, he seeks out Scott to confide his belief that Laura is in fact alive. If she is, their continued unofficial investigation will put them as well as Laura at the center of a dangerous conspiracy that reaches the highest levels. Franchise Pictures presents Spartan, a political thriller written and directed by DAVID MAMET and starring VAL KILMER, DEREK LUKE, ED O’NEILL and WILLIAM H. MACY. Spartan is produced by ART LINSON, MOSHE DIAMANT and ELIE SAMAHA, and executive produced by FRANK HUBNER. The director of photography is JUAN RUIZ ANCHIA; the production designer is GEMMA JACKSON; and the editor BARBARA TULLIVER.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai:  Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker) lives simply, apart from the world in a homemade shack on the roof of an abandoned building. His only true companion is the trusted carrier pigeon that serves as his primary means of communication with the outside world. He studies the early eighteenthcentury Japanese warrior text Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai. Each morning, he bows to the altar he has constructed and practices the ancient disciplines of the samurai. Ghost Dog is a contract killer, a master of his trade who can whirl a gun at warp speed and moves through this world like a phantom, stealthy and evanescent. In the spirit of the samurai, he has pledged his loyalty to a small-time mobster named Louie (John Tormey), who saved his life many years before.  Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is a hypnotic re-creation of the gangster picture that pits ancient wisdom against modern dysfunction, locating the parallels and differences between samurai and Mafia codes of honor and loyalty. As the modern crime family slides towards extinction, its moral system disintegrates and no one is safe in the struggle for power. In this fractious army, there is no place for the loyalty of the samurai, but his mastery and strength are undiluted.  Ghost Dog is a study of two worlds in collision, a recurring theme in the work of the award-winning filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. One of the world's most distinctive auteurs, Jarmusch's offbeat sensibility and striking, stylized visuals have won him critical acclaim and an international following. His seminal 1984 comedy Stronger Than Paradise won the Caméra d'Or (best first film) at that year's Cannes Film Festival and was named Best Picture by the National Society of Film Critics. Subsequent films, including Down By Law, Mystery Train, Night on Earth and Dead Man, have solidified Jarmusch's reputation as a consistently fine and adventurous filmmaker, who continues to grow and challenge himself.  Wonderfully written, populated by surprising characters, Ghost Dog is by turns soulful, ruminative, funny and explosive. As Ghost Dog, Forest Whitaker gracefully embodies the spirituality, wisdom and strength of the samurai, creating a modern version of the fabled warrior. Quietly and powerfully, he makes us understand Ghost Dog's deep and undying devotion to Hagakure. Whitaker's moving central performance is complimented by the work of a remarkable cast that includes veteran character actors John Tormey, Cliff Gorman, Henry Silva and Victor Argo.  Ghost Dog splices together eighteenth-century Japanese teachings; martial arts; mob iconography; the venerable military primer The Art of War; hip-hop; mythology; and pop entertainment. Lessons from Hagakure comment on the film's action; so do classic television cartoons from "Betty Boop" to "Felix the Cat" and "The Simpsons"' Itchy and Scratchy, animated parables of sex, envy, power and violence. High and low, mystic and antic, classic and of-the-moment: all kinds of cultural tributaries feed into the film's bubbling stream of knowledge.

Tigerland:  Set in 1971, when America was a nation divided over the escalating violence and bloodshed of the Vietnam War, TIGERLAND begins when thousands of young soldiers had already lost their lives to the war, and thousands more were preparing to enter combat. In Fort Polk, Louisiana, a group of young soldiers-in-training has conflicting opinions about the war. Jim Paxton (Matthew Davis) is an idealistic romantic who sees Vietnam as potential inspiration for future novels and romantic war stories. Roland Bozz (Colin Farrell) is a rebellious antihero who decides that he wants no part of the army or the war and begins to disobey orders, trying to get expelled from the infantry. Paxton and Bozz become leaders to a small group of young draftees, and Bozz inspires them to question authority. As they enter Tigerland--a training process in which the soldiers simulate combat in the Louisiana wilderness--the men begin to realize just how far they will go to stay out of the war. This gritty, documentary-like vision of the war is engaging and incredibly moving, employing natural lighting, handheld cameras, and realistic dialogue to encapsulate the deeply internalized psychological journeys of the characters. Irishman Farrell gives a breakout performance as Bozz, replete with intense charisma and brooding outlaw heroism.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 10:21:45 PM by PeteRock » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2008, 09:15:51 PM »

Equilibrium, Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels I have seen.  I can attest to Pete's recommendations.  I'll have to check out some of these other movies, indeed.
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2008, 09:22:33 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on May 22, 2008, 09:15:51 PM

Equilibrium, Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels I have seen.  I can attest to Pete's recommendations.  I'll have to check out some of these other movies, indeed.

If you've seen Lock Stock and Snatch then you owe it to yourself to see Layer Cake.  It was what solidified my faith in Daniel Craig having the potential for being the best Bond yet prior to Casino Royale's release.  It is a little more serious and a little darker than Lock Stock and Snatch, but it has a similar feel and the story really comes together well.  The humor is a little more sparse, but still funny.  Layer Cake was the directorial debut of the producer of Lock Stock and Snatch.  It is obvious that Guy Ritchie had a strong influence on his style, but he takes a more serious look at the criminal underworld than Ritchie.

And if you enjoyed the free running sequence at the beginning of Casino Royale, definitely watch District B13.  The action is great and the story is remarkably coherent for an action-heavy foreign film (moreso than Ong-Bak, which is also a must-see for the unbelievable action and fight sequences). 
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2008, 09:30:34 PM »

I wholeheartedly agree with every one of Pete's suggestions with the exception of Boondock Saints.  I've always thought it was way overrated.

...of course, I own a copy of Chris Elliot's Cabin Boy, so my two cents is probably only worth one cent.

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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2008, 09:36:04 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on May 22, 2008, 09:30:34 PM

I wholeheartedly agree with every one of Pete's suggestions with the exception of Boondock Saints.  I've always thought it was way overrated.

...of course, I own a copy of Chris Elliot's Cabin Boy, so my two cents is probably only worth one cent.



It certainly isn't any kind of award-winner, but I find the dialogue to be quite entertaining, and the interaction between the actors is fun to watch.  But for a low-budget action flick it has an unusual feel to it.  And for me the dialogue and soundtrack help me to look beyond any other shortcomings.

It certainly isn't a great movie by any means, but that doesn't mean I enjoy it any less.  Equilibrium was panned as well, but it is one of my favorite movies in my collection.  I can look beyond some of the problems and still appreciate it for what it is.  Great entertainment.  The final gun battle is just a blast to watch.  Poolhall Junkies is no gem in terms of reviews, either, but if you like pool and you enjoy Christopher Walken then you simply must see it.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 09:38:21 PM by PeteRock » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2008, 09:46:21 PM »

These are very good picks, Pete. I've not seen Ong Bak, Poolhall Junkies, or District B13. I'll have to track them down soon.

My pick for one of the best movies no one has heard of is Brick (2006) dir Ryan Johnson. I'm still in awe of its film-noir-in-a-California-high-school premise and its tongue-tying dialogue.
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2008, 09:48:44 PM »

http://www.wristcutters.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hd3KsL9oIOg


http://bventertainment.go.com/tv/buenavista/ebertandroeper/index2.html?sec=1&subsec=5507

I loved it enough to go out and get the collection of short stories which are fascinating.
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2008, 09:55:58 PM »

With the exception of Poolhall Junkies I've seen all of Pete's recomendations and liked them. Here's a few taken from my recent Netflix rental activity that might be lesser known to some but I really enjoyed:

The Orphanage
The King of Kong
The Lives of Others
Waitress
The Station Agent
First Snow


Pete, have you seen Revolver yet? Guy Ritchie's latest with Jason Statham. It's another crime drama but he went for something completely different, basically the plot is laid out like a chess game with a bit of Fight Club thrown in. It's kind of bizarre (I didn't actually like it that much) and nowhere near as good as his first two, but still interesting enough to check out if you're a fan. Watch the making of afterwards and it helps explain what he was going for.
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2008, 10:00:34 PM »

Kiss-Kiss-Bang-Bang is brilliant, with Val Kilmer stealing the entire show.

Ong Bak had some incredible fight scenes, but the rest of it was painfully bad.

I've tried 3 times and can't get through more than an hour of Bubba Ho-Tep without being bored to tears, and I'm a Bruce Campbell fan.
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2008, 10:03:09 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on May 22, 2008, 09:30:34 PM

Boondock Saints.  I've always thought it was way overrated.


Yep.
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2008, 10:06:15 PM »

The General: An exciting silent film from 1927 starring Buster Keaton and Marion Mack. One part comedy and one part action film it takes places during the American Civil War with a plotline that follows (generally) the Great Locomotive Chase. Watch in awe as Buster Keaton preforms many a dare-doing feat onboard a train at full steam, watch as he attempts to reclaim his love and become an officer in the Confederate Army. Well under appreciated it's probably the best silent film I've ever watched - thanks Turner Classic Movies!

Joyeux Noel: A slightly sappy tale of the Christmas Truce between German, British, and French forces during the first year of World War I. A poigent tale that speaks of the needlessness of war. While the idea of a truce forming due to the soprano skills of one German soldier is a bit farcical it succeeds when it really shouldn't. Add a couple of great performances and you've got a winner.
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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2008, 10:07:08 PM »

Other than the Station Agent the rest are from the UK. We went on a little UK movie kick recently and these are a few of the ones we enjoyed the most.

The Station Agent

Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage) is a man trying to live life on his own terms. Looking only to be left alone, he takes up residence in an rural town's old train depot. But much like the station agents that occupied small town depots before him, he finds himself reluctantly becoming enmeshed in the lives of his neighbors, especially Olivia (Patricia Clarkson), a forty-year-old artist struggling with the break up of her marriage, and Joe (Bobby Cannavale) a thirty-year-old with a talent for cooking and an insatiable hunger for conversation - whether anyone wants to talk to him or not.

Kinky Boots

Charles Price may have grown up with his father in the family shoe business, but he never thought that he would take his father's place. Yet, the untimely death of his father places him in that position, only to learn that Price & Sons Shoes is failing. While in despair at his failed attempts to save the business, Charles has a chance encounter with the flamboyant drag queen cabaret singer, Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Her complaints about the inadequate footwear for her work combined with one of Charles' ex-employees, Lauren, leads to a suggestion to change the product to create a desperate chance to save the business: make men's fetish footwear. Lola is convinced to be their footwear designer and the transition begins. Now this disparate lot must struggle at this unorthodox idea while dealing both the prejudice of the staff, Lola's discomfort in the small town and the selfish manipulation of Charles' greedy fiancée who cannot see the greater good in Charles' dream.

Greenfingers

A (green) thumbs-up for this affecting true-life tale about hardened con Colin Briggs (Clive Owen), who gets a new lease on life -- behind prison bars -- as an award-winning gardener. Wonderful in support are David Kelly as a prisoner chum of Briggs's who coaxes him out of his shell and Helen Mirren as a world-class gardener who fears for her daughter when she falls for Briggs.

Waking Ned Devine

How can dead Irishman Ned Devine collect his lottery winnings? Well, longtime cronies Jackie O'Shea (Ian Bannen) and Michael O'Sullivan (David Kelly) have the answer. After discovering that Ned croaked from the shock of hitting the jackpot, Jackie and Michael mastermind a scheme to impersonate the lucky stiff and collect his prize money. Now all they need to do is persuade the rest of Tulaigh Mohr's denizens to go along…

American Women

After being stimulated by a screening of Bo Derek's 10, a group of lonely young Irishmen cook up a foolproof plan: They'll post an ad in the Miami Herald, inviting American ladies to come to them. But when the town's womenfolk find out about it, they launch a counter-scheme to fend off foreign competition. Reminiscent of Waking Ned Devine, this quaint romantic comedy was produced by the minds behind The Full Monty.
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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2008, 10:07:44 PM »

Out of your list, Pete, I've seen the following:

Layer Cake
Equilibrium
Boondock Saints
Bubba Ho-Tep
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Spartan

I can vouch for the goodness of all of these.
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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2008, 10:16:30 PM »

Quote from: PR_GMR on May 22, 2008, 09:46:21 PM

These are very good picks, Pete. I've not seen Ong Bak, Poolhall Junkies, or District B13. I'll have to track them down soon.

David Bella chase sequence from District B13

Cyril Raffael fight scene from District B13.

Ong-Bak Trailer

Poolhall Junkies Trailer

Watch them all.  ASAP.  

Quote
My pick for one of the best movies no one has heard of is Brick (2006) dir Ryan Johnson. I'm still in awe of its film-noir-in-a-California-high-school premise and its tongue-tying dialogue.

Brick always finds its way onto my radar but I've never gone so far as to pick it up.  I've heard nothing but good things so I may need to pick it up.  I've purchased movies sight-unseen for less.

I'm really anxious for the release of In Bruges with Colin Farrel. 

And how the hell did I forget Tigerland.  One of my favorite war films and one of Colin Farrel's best performances (and also his first). 
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2008, 10:23:26 PM »

Quote from: Simon on May 22, 2008, 09:55:58 PM

Pete, have you seen Revolver yet? Guy Ritchie's latest with Jason Statham. It's another crime drama but he went for something completely different, basically the plot is laid out like a chess game with a bit of Fight Club thrown in. It's kind of bizarre (I didn't actually like it that much) and nowhere near as good as his first two, but still interesting enough to check out if you're a fan. Watch the making of afterwards and it helps explain what he was going for.

Based on what I've read it sounds like it has almost no redeeming qualities and the Ritchie "touch" that made Lock Stock and Snatch so entertaining is lost in a little too much creativity.  I've avoided it out of fear of it ruining my appreciation of Ritchie's earlier work.
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2008, 10:25:34 PM »

And Starring Poncho Villa As Himself

http://www.hbo.com/films/panchovilla/

Like Shadow of the Vampire, this is a movie about the power of movies.

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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2008, 11:02:57 PM »

If you haven't seen Brick yet, drop everything you're doing and run to the video store...or to your computer to log into Netflix.  Absolutely one of my top 5 movies of the last few years.  The dialogue alone is worth the price of admission. 

Quote
Throw one at me if you want, hash head. I've got all five senses and I slept last night, that puts me six up on the lot of you.

Quote
Look, I can't trust you. You ought to be smart enough to know that. I didn't shake up the party to get your attention, and I'm not heeling you too hook you. Your connections could help me, but the bad baggage they bring could make it zero sum gain or even hurt me. Better coming at it clean.

Quote
Brad Bramish: Hey! What are you doing here?
Brendan Frye: Just listening.
[long pause while Brad stares at him]
Brendan Frye: All right, you got me. I'm a scout for the Gophers. Been watching your game for a month, but that story right there just clenched it. You got heart kid. How soon can you be in Minneapolis?
Brad Bramish: Yeah?
Brendan Frye: Cold winters, but they got a great transit system.
Brad Bramish: Yeah?
Brendan Frye: Yeah.
Brad Bramish: Oh, yeah?
Brendan Frye: There's a thesaurus in the library. Yeah is under "Y". Go ahead, I'll wait.

I think i've seen that film about 4 times.   icon_smile
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2008, 11:08:24 PM »

Not to piss off Pete Rock, by how can you list Equilibrium or Boondock Saintson a board of geeks as 'Unheard of movies'?  Those two movies are Geek staples.  (Of course, while I know of them, I've never seen them.  BS I might see someday, but Equilibrium is a flat out 'hell no'.
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2008, 11:22:22 PM »

Here's a movie my Dad and I liked (spoiler alert - fight scene near movie's end): The Wanderers

Set against the urban jungle of 1963 New York's gangland subculture, this coming of age teenage movie is set around the Italian gang the Wanderers. Slight comedy, slight High School angst and every bit entertaining with its classic 1950's Rock n' Roll soundtrack such as "Walk Like a Man", "Big Girls Don't Cry" by The Four Seasons and "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Angels. Focusing around a football game where the different gangs play with and against each other, then at its grand finale, come together in a mass of union to defend their honour and their turf. Nostalgic stuff and above all a Rock n' Roll retrospective on a grand musical era. Timeless. Written by Cinema_Fan


My Dad would often tell my mom: "Leave the kid alone" - quoting from this scene near the opening.

It was an old movie by the time I saw it in the 90s.

Oh yeah, written by one of my favorite authors Richard Price.
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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2008, 12:42:37 AM »

Quote from: Big Jake on May 22, 2008, 11:08:24 PM

Not to piss off Pete Rock, by how can you list Equilibrium or Boondock Saintson a board of geeks as 'Unheard of movies'?  Those two movies are Geek staples.  (Of course, while I know of them, I've never seen them.  BS I might see someday, but Equilibrium is a flat out 'hell no'.

Because while they're known here, that doesn't automatically mean mainstream notoriety.  I wasn't necessarily listing them as unknown to the forums, but unknown to the general public.  But, keep in mind that they were unknown when first released, I watched both in the theaters, and they only developed a cult following due to internet forums and word of mouth later.  When I first saw them they were unknown.  And as I continued to share them with friends, it wasn't until my introduction that they were even aware of the films.

In the same breath I could question the listing of Brick as most of us have already heard of it.  But it is in general a lesser-known film.
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« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2008, 12:48:19 AM »

Some of my favorites include:

Fandango
Diner

and recently:
Southland Tales

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« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2008, 01:01:32 AM »

Quote from: hepcat on May 22, 2008, 09:30:34 PM

I wholeheartedly agree with every one of Pete's suggestions with the exception of Boondock Saints.  I've always thought it was way overrated.

how could you not love it, especially for the scene of Willem Dafoe dressed in drag?

oh, and Kiss, Kiss Bang, Bang is all kinds of awesome.  I just picked it up on Blu Ray.
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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2008, 01:06:48 AM »

Withnail and I

The Dresser
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« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2008, 01:08:13 AM »

Quote from: chaosraven on May 23, 2008, 12:48:19 AM

Some of my favorites include:

Southland Tales



dude, i made it through the first 20 minutes.  when i realized that gellar wasn't about to have any illicit scenes involving fruits or large animals, i became distracted by the blinking light on my smoke alarm and wandered off....
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« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2008, 01:11:09 AM »

Animal Factory

Awesome prison flick with Willem Dafoe.
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« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2008, 01:12:16 AM »

Quote
when i realized that gellar wasn't about to have any illicit scenes involving fruits or large animals

So you made it all the way thru the Scooby-Doo movies?
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« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2008, 01:16:32 AM »

Southland Tales made no sense to me.
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« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2008, 01:26:35 AM »

Ive seen many of the movies listed and enjoyed most of them.  Regarding Equilibrium,  I wasnt wowed by it like some but I did find it entertaining.   
 I found Bubba Hotep to be an excellent flick and highly recommend it with the disclaimer that is not for everyone.  It has an awesome peformance by Ozzie Davis as JFK tho and Bruce is great as Elvis.
  Another sci-fi genre movie that deserves mention is Dark City.  Im sure this one has been seen by many of you but if you havent its worth watching.
 Since you mentioned Snatch, I just got to throw out some props to Brad Pitt.  He may have many roles as male fluff but he has also had some awesome performances in some very offbeat movies, especially Snatch and 12 Monkeys.
 Anyway, nice list Pete,  Ill be checking out a few of those that I havent seen soon.
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« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2008, 02:02:43 AM »

Nighthawks
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« Reply #30 on: May 23, 2008, 02:22:12 AM »

Quote from: PeteRock on May 22, 2008, 09:10:47 PM

Ong-Bak:  awesome muay thai movie

I was walking through Chinatown at lunch yesterday and saw a video store with a sign that said:

"THE BEST ACTION MOVIE SINCE ONG-BAK: CHOCOLATE"

Upon further investigation I discovered this friggin awesome trailer.  At least stick with it to around the ~1:40 mark where you'll start seeing the female lead kicking some ass the Muay Thai way, with no stunt doubles (according to the subtitles.)

It's apparently directed by the same director and fight choreographer who did Ong-Bak.  The story involves an autistic girl who's mastered martial arts just from watching TV and observing the Muay Thai school next door.

So even though I haven't seen it yet I think it's safe to the thread: Chocolate
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« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2008, 02:36:59 AM »

Quote from: JohnathanStrange on May 22, 2008, 11:22:22 PM

Here's a movie my Dad and I liked (spoiler alert - fight scene near movie's end): The Wanderers

Set against the urban jungle of 1963 New York's gangland subculture, this coming of age teenage movie is set around the Italian gang the Wanderers. Slight comedy, slight High School angst and every bit entertaining with its classic 1950's Rock n' Roll soundtrack such as "Walk Like a Man", "Big Girls Don't Cry" by The Four Seasons and "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Angels. Focusing around a football game where the different gangs play with and against each other, then at its grand finale, come together in a mass of union to defend their honour and their turf. Nostalgic stuff and above all a Rock n' Roll retrospective on a grand musical era. Timeless. Written by Cinema_Fan


My Dad would often tell my mom: "Leave the kid alone" - quoting from this scene near the opening.

It was an old movie by the time I saw it in the 90s.

Oh yeah, written by one of my favorite authors Richard Price.


Awesome choice.  Caught that one a few years ago while channel surfing and I loved it so much I bought the Price book. 

Brick is also a great choice for this list.

As to my additions- I'll throw in Night Watch and Day Watch.  They get kind of mixed reactions but I loved 'em both (especially Day Watch).  Russian films based on a series of books popular in Russia (the first three have now been translated in the US) that concern a sort of Cold War between the forces of Light and Darkness (ie good and evil).  Heavily influenced by The Matrix with a healthy does of WTF on top of it, they still manage to have their own style and it's absolutely mind boggling what they accomplish on minuscule budgets by US standards.  The Night Watch DVD also has some of the best use of subtitles I've ever seen.  Unfortunately the Day Watch DVD doesn't have the same style of cool subtitles but I'm hoping the upcoming Blu-Ray release will rectify that.  The books are recommended too though they are noticeably more sedate compared to their cinema counterparts. 
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« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2008, 02:53:26 AM »

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls icon_lol
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« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2008, 03:26:17 AM »

Hm. I don't think these qualify as "no one has ever heard of", but certainly lesser known and some of my favorites:

Zero Effect - Bill Pullman as Daryl Zero, an incredibly neurotic and eccentric yet genius private detective, with Ben Stiller as his partner. There is a mystery involved, but it is really about the characters.

Swimming With Sharks - a little more well known, Kevin Spacey is the worlds worst boss and Frank Whaley is his subordinate that reaches his breaking point.

The Sweet Hereafter - Atom Egoyan's fantastic adaptation of the Russell Banks novel about a community that undergoes an emotional crisis when many of the children are killed in a schoolbus accident.

A couple by love/hate directors

Lone Star - either you like John Sayles or you don't. His movies are very gently paced, but I think this one is incredibly compelling.  A great character study as well as a look at Mexico-Texas relations.

The Secret of Roan Inish - another Sayles movie, although this is an adaptation so not exactly like his other work. A great family film.

Trust - sometimes this is my all-time favorite movie. A sort-of love story by Hal Hartley, who can definitely be an acquired taste.


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« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2008, 03:43:17 AM »

I just think it's funny that I've seen nearly all of these "movies no one has heard of". 
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« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2008, 04:40:36 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 23, 2008, 02:36:59 AM

As to my additions- I'll throw in Night Watch and Day Watch.  They get kind of mixed reactions but I loved 'em both (especially Day Watch).  Russian films based on a series of books popular in Russia (the first three have now been translated in the US) that concern a sort of Cold War between the forces of Light and Darkness (ie good and evil).  Heavily influenced by The Matrix with a healthy does of WTF on top of it, they still manage to have their own style and it's absolutely mind boggling what they accomplish on minuscule budgets by US standards.  The Night Watch DVD also has some of the best use of subtitles I've ever seen.  Unfortunately the Day Watch DVD doesn't have the same style of cool subtitles but I'm hoping the upcoming Blu-Ray release will rectify that.  The books are recommended too though they are noticeably more sedate compared to their cinema counterparts. 

I can't believe I forgot tese as well.  I really enjoyed Night Watch and recently picked up Day Watch, although I haven't watched it yet.

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« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2008, 04:58:14 AM »

Can't believe I watched the most of the movie that's listed here.  icon_lol

I don't watch weird, indi, foreign movies as much as used to. However, I believe I still watch more than regular people do. (I don't know if it's good thing or bad..)

The Secret of Roan Inish, Spartan, Gattaca, Dark City and The City of Lost Children are among my favorite movies that's not well known.

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« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2008, 12:55:15 PM »

Quote from: Big Jake on May 22, 2008, 11:08:24 PM

Not to piss off Pete Rock, by how can you list Equilibrium or Boondock Saintson a board of geeks as 'Unheard of movies'?  Those two movies are Geek staples.  (Of course, while I know of them, I've never seen them.  BS I might see someday, but Equilibrium is a flat out 'hell no'.

The ones that threw me were Ghost Dog which was advertised like crazy on TV and True Romance which not only did everyone see but most people around here saw in the theatres.  How could they not, after Resivoir DogsRD and Clerks were the movies that got me to start me to seeing independent film again.  RD got passed from person to person to person and quoted quietly in the corner by so many people that TR was so huge that it then in motion all the talk for Pulp Fiction be even hugerer.
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« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2008, 01:00:54 PM »

Alright, as an ex film-snob I'll give my choices, which will mostly be horror as that is my genre of choice.

Re-animator  Amazing gore-fest comedy, based on lovecraft.  
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0089885/

Kids Indie film which follows Telly, an HIV infected skateboarder and his posse around New York.  Shocking, and real.  
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0113540/

Black Sabbath A trio of atmospheric horror tales, by the Italian master of horror. http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0057603/

Suspiria Italy's other master of horror serves up an atmospheric thriller, about a coven of witches masquerading as a ballet academy.  Some of the best Giallo inspired death scenes ever.
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0076786/

Ils A French stalker film with an amazing soundscape which is one of the most tense movies you will ever see.  If you can get through this without taking a break, I couldn't.  
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0465203/

Repo Man Science Fiction, b-movie with a killer soundtrack.  Emelio Esteves at his best.. and Harry Dean Stanton.. WOW.  
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0087995/

There are tons more, especially horror.  One of the reasons I love the horror genre, is that there are so many films from so many different countries to explore.  Even the bad one's usually have some redeeming quality.
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« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2008, 02:26:20 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 23, 2008, 02:36:59 AM

As to my additions- I'll throw in Night Watch and Day Watch.  They get kind of mixed reactions but I loved 'em both (especially Day Watch).  Russian films based on a series of books popular in Russia (the first three have now been translated in the US) that concern a sort of Cold War between the forces of Light and Darkness (ie good and evil).  Heavily influenced by The Matrix with a healthy does of WTF on top of it, they still manage to have their own style and it's absolutely mind boggling what they accomplish on minuscule budgets by US standards.  The Night Watch DVD also has some of the best use of subtitles I've ever seen.  Unfortunately the Day Watch DVD doesn't have the same style of cool subtitles but I'm hoping the upcoming Blu-Ray release will rectify that.  The books are recommended too though they are noticeably more sedate compared to their cinema counterparts. 

They've finally started moving forward on Dusk Watch  thumbsup
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