Movies You May Have Missed, Part 3
After a year of cinematic oatmeal (in a long series of many years of such blah) we thought it was a good time to revive an old series with endless content.
It is overwhelming sometimes to stand back and get an idea of just how many movies there are to digest -- and that's just considering the mainstream. And once you absorb these figures, it just seems easier and more fun to start going the other way on the timeline.
A lot of these you've probably seen, some maybe you've only heard of, and with any luck, some may be an entirely new trip for you. In any case, they're all Bennett Media-approved, and feel free to keep up the trend of leaving your own suggestions in the comments.
Amos and Andrew (1993)
In the sprawling filmography that is Cage-sploitation, this operetta of hijinks is pretty forgotten. But apart from having a mile-long cast of favorites, its post-Rodney King humor is even more relevant to today's sociopolitical climate.
Take away its film school editing and point-and-click cinematography and it could've been one of the greats. Strong performances and a visceral winter atmosphere give this French Connection wannabe some seasonal rewatchability.
Murkier than Part 2, but the undeniable (and inexplicable) chemistry between Dreyfuss and Estevez simply doesn't get old. It has a spectacular 80s soundtrack that comes outta nowhere, and for a mild Comedy-Thriller, it has an intense cat-and-mouse climax that elevates the whole damn show.
Day of Anger (1967)
Not a fan of Westerns but you like what Quentin's been doing lately? Do yourself a favor and experience this obvious point of reference; influential not just for its subject matter and Riz Ortolani score, but also its wildly engrossing plot turns and attention to detail.
Howling III: The Marsupials (1987)
Even as a coupla Joe Dante admirers, we can't seem to give a shit about The Howling.
Nevertheless! The third installment (there are eight of 'em), born out of the blood and diesel fuel of Australia, is louder and sillier than all the others - making it the leader of the pack.
Trial & Error (1997)
At the height of Seinfeld/Kramer-mania, this failed to make any waves in the wide world of 90s comedy. After 20+ years, it feels smarter and funnier than a lot of the "classics" of that era.
For whatever amount of effort that was put into trying to fashion Michael Biehn into an action superstar, it could've been more. This scifi/action/mystery/thriller is in some kinda weird room by itself.
Also, Patsy Kensit.
Late Phases (2014)
Neat premise executed on a flimsy budget with mild thrills. But the real reason to watch is the remarkably awesome screen presence of its lead, Nick Damici. For the long list of whatever the movie lacks, it's all forgiven to bear witness to a career-defining performance.
Here's an example of a remake far exceeding the quality of the original. It's packed with some of the greatest actors of a generation -- but this was right around the time when everyone took extra notice of Christian Bale in American Psycho. I always considered that only half of his one-two punch. Shaft is definitely the other half.
Evils of the Night (1985)
Few genre pictures manage to deliver this amount of blood, boobs, and honest-to-god suspense. Lo fi scifi and a gore-driven slasher story pair surprisingly nicely together.
Requiem For a Vampire (1971)
What could've been a nudie-vampire drive-in flick (which it mostly is) has enough shades of French New Wave, Avantgarde, and gothic ambience to make it really kinda great.
aka Caged Virgins
Innocent Blood (1992)
When it came out, all anyone cared about was how it wasn't as good as American Werewolf in London... Now that we've gotten that out of our system, it's worthy of a fresh take; it's the bittersweet imbalance of brutal carnage and mediocre slapstick that only John Landis seems to know how to do.
The Godsend (1980)
Strip away all the sensationalism and/or religious dogma of other evil kid movies and you're stuck with intense performances, beautiful shooting locations, and a villain worth rooting against.
Almost an Angel (1990)
'Crocodile' Paul Hogan is a thief who mistakingly believes he's become an angel following a near-death experience. With a new outlook, he sets out to do good - befriending paraplegic Elias Koteas and courting real-life wife Linda Kozlowski.
There's your synopsis - take it or leave it.
Michael Caine, Dyan Cannon, and Christopher Reeve expertly act their way out of double-crosses, plot twists, and best-laid-plans in this Sidney Lumet potboiler of a movie of a play-within-a-play about plays.
Radio Flyer (1992)
I think people were bummed on the too-heavy subject matter wrapped around this kids' nostalgia ballet, but the hell with them - that formula never hindered To Kill a Mockingbird.
Trust us, you'll be immediately intrigued by the first frame of the movie.
The Entity (1982)
Imagine Poltergeist with more adult themes and a bigger focus on the scientific stuff, and you're left with a much more serious/consuming/realistic tale of how to confront an aggressive paranormal threat.
Speaking of domestic spooks, specters, and ghosts, this suburban 'ghost in the machine' story pits a home's plumbing and electrical systems against its inhabitants. If that sounds too silly to be scary, you'd be skin-peelingly wrong!
Forget Paris (1995)
One way for the Romantic Comedy genre to stay relevant is to embrace cynicism, realism, and self-awareness. Writer and costar Billy Crystal has always been damn good at this, and this movie may be his best example of it.
Prelude to a Kiss (1992)
Body/soul-switiching stories are usually set up for laughs -- this is very much not the situation in this adaptation of the scifi/melodrama/romantic play about the desire for youth and the validity of 'soul mates.'
Labels: Movies You May Have Missed