Friday, March 6, 2009

20 Films That You've Never Seen But Should Have

I love to recommend movies to people. The highlight of my life was working at a video store and having my own "employee recommendation" section and getting to hear people appreciate (or hate) my recommendations. I decided to take this time to post a list of 20 movies that you should have seen by now.

  1. FreakedFreaked is the greatest cult movie that hasn’t quite found a cult yet. It came out in 1993 as a movie version of the short lived MTV Sketch-Comedy show Idiot box. After 20th Century Fox saw the movie they claimed it was too weird for audiences and didn’t give it a wide release. The Film’s soundtrack is composed of Butthole Surfers and George Clinton and the special effects are impressive for how low-budget they are. If you can I highly recommened picking up the double-disc DVD that was FINALLY released by Anchor Bay
  2. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – Robert Downey Jr has clearly reinvented himself over the last few years but this was the first film in his long line of reinvention. This is also hands down his best performance. RDJ plays a petty thief who through mistaken identity gets cast in a movie. Once he is flown out to LA he meets Val Kilmer who is an outwardly gay dectective that his hired to drag Downey Jr around with him so he can see what real police work is like to prepare for the role. However when they witness an actual murder the shit (and comedy) hits the fan.
  3. Dummy – Adrian Brody followed up the award winning The Pianist with this delightful, feel good indie comedy about a 30-year old single man who decides to follow his dreams of being a ventriloquist. When he quits his job to follow this dream no one seems to find it strange except his sister. The true star of the show is Brody’s punk rock best friend who has to do a full musical make over in order to get their first gig… a Jewish wedding.
  4. Wet Hot American Summer – This is the ultimate anti-comedy. Few films have the guts to have crappy acting on purpose like the comedic brilliant minds of The State are able to pull off. Lovers of crappy 80’s camp films will find so many different things to love about this satire. It’s the last day of summer camp in 1985 and we witness 16 year old camp counslers (all played by 30 year olds) trying to find love and make their mark to be remembered forever. The film is mostly plotless and always hilarious and worth thousands of views because you’ll constantly see something new in each viewing.
  5. Brick – Film Noir takes an interesting new turn into a high school setting. When Brendan is awoke by an ex-girlfriend’s caotic phone call he decided to help her. Sadly he’s a little two late when her body is found that morning. Brendan goes undercover to figure out who killed his ex, why and what does the underground drug ring have to do with it. This film is fast paced, entertaining and well crafted. Highly recommended to just about anyone.
  6. Free Enterprise – I’m not a trekkie, like at all. But if you’re a giant fan of things sci-fi (star wars, star trek, logan’s run, etc) or just coming-of-age dialogue driven movies in the vein of Kevin Smith this is the movie for you. The film follows two wanna-be filmmakers who are about to turn 30. One guy is a crazy womenizer who fears turning 30 while the other has just lost his girlfriend due to his nerdy ways. Some people will hate this movie for it’s lack of story and slow pace while other will love it for it’s well crafted and enjoyable characters who literally feel and talk just like your own best friends
  7. Eight Days a Week – This is one of the most unknown teen flicks out there and it’s awesome one of the best teen flicks out there. It follows a nerdy guy who happens to be in love with his next door neighbor. It’s summer time and in 3 short months they’ll be off to college so he decides to show his love in the only way he knows how. He sits outside her house all day and night until she admits that she loves him too. The dialogue is quick witted and the characters are likeable. The filme even manages to take something that should be a really creepy thing to do and make it extremely touching and sweet.
  8. The Specials – Rob Lowe and Jamie Kennedy star in what is basically a R-rated version of Mystery Men. In most ways it’s a lot better than Mystery Men actually. The screenplay is written by James Gunn the writer of such hit films as Scooby-doo, Tromeo and Juliet and the Dawn of the Dead remake. The film follows a superhero team trying to keep up with the more powerful and well known superhero teams, but unlike Mystery Men where it’s trying to prove their greatness this one is about them trying to market and merchindise themselves as much as humanly possible
  9. Wristcutters: A Love Story – A brilliantly dark film proposes a bizarre theory that the afterlife is just like real life except more boring. The Only way you end up in this afterlife is if you kill yourself. Our main character kills himself after his girlfriend leaves him and ends up in this strange alternative universe. However life get more exciting when he finds out his ex-girlfriend has taken her life and he tries to track her down in this strange twist of buddy/road comedies
  10. Evil Alien Conquerors - One of the most ridiculous movies I've ever seen hands down. If you're a fan of off the wall comedy then this is the movie for you. The plot follows two aliens who have 48 hours to kill the entire human race. Instead of doing this however they fall in love with two women with unibrows and develop a drinking problem. Instead of enslaving the human race they basically just hang out with their new earth friends and discuss all the ways they could kill the earth race. This movie is very dumb and that's the point but it's in such a way that it's almost brilliantly dumb
  11. Hoodwinked – I’m not at all surprised that no one saw this film when it was released but it’s really a shame they didn’t. Hoodwinked much like Shrek is a fairy tale world flipped on it’s head type movie except it’s done much better than Shrek and it’s sequels. The story is told in a Dragnet crime way where it takes a story we’re all familiar with (little red riding hood) and has it told to us from four different characters point of view. The best comparison is a children’s book I once read about “The three little pigs” from the perspective of the wolf. 
  12. The InvisibleThe Invisible was a finacial bomb in the theaters that was poorly (and wrongfully) advertised using what I can only assume were deleted scenes in the trailer. Regardless of false advertisement the movie is one of the most interesting takes on “ghost” films I’ve seen. The main character isn’t exactly dead or alive but in a ghostly limbo state in which he can not interact with anyone in the real world. Infact the only person who can see or hear him is the person responsible for his death and it’s up to her to find his missing body and get him to a hospital before his body expires and he’s dead for good.
  13. Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky – I’m far from a Kung-fu fan but I love this movie and most people will tell you that Kung-fu never gets much gorier than this. Riki-Oh is a super-hero man falsely put in a corrupt prison. Riki-Oh takes it upon himself to destroy the corrupt prison from the ground up. If you ever wanted to see someone choke another person with their own intestines this is the film for you. The movie doesn’t make a whole lotta sense and the only entertainment is how off the wall the whole movie is. Only watch the poorly dubbed version though, that’s a warning.
  14. Danielson: A Family Movie  - I used to be a big Jesus freak in high school. While I still have a strong faith I've kinda distance myself from church but there are still some Christian bands that I love from back in the day. One of the most interesting Christian bands was the Danielson Familie. They're easily the most bizarre band EVER regardless if they're Christian or not. This documentary has each member of the family (all siblings of lead singer/composer Daniel Smith) telling their side of everything. I've been lucky to see Danielson live at least 7 different times. Each time he's been a great live show. 
  15. Hot Rod – I never expected in a million years that I would love this movie. When I first saw the trailer it got me to chuckle a little bit but I still was under the impression that the movie would be awful. Instead it turned out to be my favorite movie of 2007. The plot is very simple, Rod wants to do stunts in order to raise enough money to get his stepfather a heart transplant so that he can kick his ass in hand to hand combat. The absurdity between all the characters is the real appeal. Scenes like Rod falling down a hill start off funny, then it gets old and then as it continues you find yourself laughing again at how ridiculously long the scene is.
  16. Playing Mona Lisa – This beautiful and inspiring romantic comedy follows a young girl and her group of friends. The story revolves around Claire, a talented pianist who stops playing piano after her boyfriend leaves her for another girl. Instead of practices and rehersals she parties it up with some of her  best friends, including a lonely video store clerk, a guy who’s on every drug known to man and a girl who’s secretly dating a married man. It’s up to her former teacher to put her back on the right track and make sure she doesn’t waste her talent.
  17. DiG  - If you’re a band on tour there’s certain movies that they tell you that the whole band must watch at some point on the tour. The number 1 movie is This is Spinal Tap I’d like to take this time to say that number 2 should be the documentary DiG! DiG is a true story like nothing you’ve heard before. Two bands, both best friends, one band (The Dandy Warhols) gets a record contract while the other band (Brian Jonestown Massacre) has a lead singer Anton who has fucked up all their chances at stardom time and time again. The film shows Anton’s descent into an insane obsession threatening the Dandy’s at shows and sending them shotgun shells with their names carved into them as well as The Dandy’s struggle to beat the record company’s system of “singles”.
  18. Scotland, PA – Andy Dick, Christopher Walken and William Shakespeare? Who would have thought a combination like that could be so amazing. WE all know the story of MacBeth, he wants the kingdom so him and his wife kill the King and take his place but are haunted by their guilt. Scotland, PA takes these characters and puts them in the mullet-rocking 70’s and the kingdom is now a fast food restaurant. Christopher walken shines as Lieutenant McDuff, which is not only one of his best roles, but easily his funniest. Delivering such great lines as “I like what you’ve done to the place, of course last time I was here there was a body in your deep fryer”
  19. PopcornPopcorn is a movie that has it’s tongue firmly planted in cheek, and if you don’t believe me check out director Mark Herrier starred in the sexy comedies from the 80’s Porky’s and the writer Alan Ormsby wrote Porky’s 2: the Next Day. Popcorn is Wes Craven’s Scream before Scream was ever written. It follows a group of horror movie fans putting together an all night horror movie marathon, however they’re being haunted by a man who attempted to burn down that theater years  ago in his “cinemagraphic masterpiece” (which involved killing his family live on stage). The Death scenes are funny and bizarre but the true star of this film is the fake horror movies shown at the movie marathon (specifically Mosquito about; you guessed it; a giant mosquito)
  20. Shock Treatment – Rocky Horror Picture Show is a ground-breaking musical and one of the biggest cult classics of all time. With a legion of faithful followers the films has truly stood the test of time. The sequel however, is not ground-breaking and fair from a cult classic. It is however, entertaining and full of catchy songs (such as my personal favorites “lullaby” and “Bitchin in the Kitchen”). The film also has a somewhat eerie foreshadowing of the dangers of Reality Television.

No comments:

Post a Comment