Saturday, September 04, 2004

Overlooked Movies

Egad, not another stupid list. From bestoflists, the most overlooked movies of the 90s (although not all seem to be from the 90s):

1 Miller's Crossing Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - I'd just used this movie in Intro. to Lit. when I found this list. My favorite gangster movie. Irish mobsters kick the crap out of Italians.

2 Safe Todd Haynes
3 The Sweet Hereafter Atom Egoyan
4 Lone Star John Sayles

5 Heavenly Creatures Peter Jackson - Jackson's only pre-Ring work that I've seen. Kate Winslet was far better in this than in the horrible boat movie.

6 Waiting for Guffman Christopher Guest - Best of Show and Mighty Wind were also great. With so many terrible comedies, I'm glad movies like this are still being made.

7 The Hudsucker Proxy Ethan Coen & Joel Coen

8 Babe: Pig in the City Chris Noonan - Several people I respect love this movie. I'd probably appreciate it more except I have a bias against talking pigs.

9 Dead Man Jim Jarmusch
10 Fearless Peter Weir
11 Bound Larry Wachowski & Andy Wachowski
12 Chungking Express Kar Wai Wong

13 The Straight Story David Lynch - Lynch can develop a better character in two minutes than virtually any other director can in two hours.

14 Searching for Bobby Fischer Steven Zaillian

15 Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai Jim Jarmusch - probably not Jarmusch's best but I loved the mobsters.

16 That Thing You Do! Tom Hanks

17 Dead Again Kenneth Branagh - uh, some parts were interesting but I wouldn't put it on this list.

18 Sneakers Phil Alden Robinson
19 Zero Effect Jake Kasdan
20 The Butcher Boy Neil Jordan
21 Truly, Madly, Deeply Anthony Minghella
22 In the Company of Men Neil LaBute
23 Devil in a Blue Dress Carl Franklin
24 The Red Violin Francois Girard
25 Cemetery Man Michele Soavi

26 Hamlet Kenneth Branagh - My favorite adaptation of Shakespeare. Great cast (except for too-cute Robin Williams).

27 Breakdown Jonathan Mostow
28 Welcome to the Dollhouse Todd Solondz

29 The Apostle Robert Duvall - one of the few movies that looks at religion without sucking up or bashing it. Duvall is one of my favorite actors and deserved an Oscar for his performance. The movie had its flaws (e.g. Billy Bob) but the last sermon made up for them.

30 Eve's Bayou Kasi Lemmons
31 Hard Eight Paul Thomas Anderson
32 Defending Your Life Albert Brooks - parts I saw were funny enough.
33 A Little Princess Alfonso Cuaron
34 Bringing Out the Dead Martin Scorsese
35 Fireworks Takeshi Kitano

36 Jacob's Ladder Adrian Lyne - I haven't watched this in a long while but saw it for free when it came out. A good reworking of Ambrose Bierce.

37 The Spanish Prisoner David Mamet - Favorite Mamet movie. Great cast.

38 Pump Up The Volume Allan Moyle
39 Beautiful Girls Ted Demme
40 The Double Life of Veronique Krzysztof Kieslowski
41 Very Bad Things Peter Berg heard very bad things about it.

42 Richard III Richard Loncraine - not perfect but Ian McKellen makes a better Richard than Magneto and Gandalf put together.

43 October Sky Joe Johnston
44 Strange Days Kathryn Bigelow
45 My Neighbor Totoro Hayao Miyazaki - why can I find other Miyazaki's films (e.g. Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service) but not this?
46 L.A. Story Mick Jackson
47 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me David Lynch
48 A Bronx Tale Robert De Niro
49 The Limey Steven Soderbergh - the trailer turned me off so much that I never looked for it. Anybody seen it?
50 A Perfect World Clint Eastwood
51 Before Sunrise Richard Linklater
52 Bob Roberts Tim Robbins - saw parts. Inspiration of "Sideshow Bob Roberts."
53 Dick Andrew Fleming
54 Raise the Red Lantern Yimou Zhang
55 One False Move Carl Franklin
56 The Ref Ted Demme
57 Exotica Atom Egoyan
58 Sonatine Takeshi Kitano

59 Joe Versus the Volcano John Patrick Shanley - I know a lot of people love this one but it seems like the cinematic equivalent of Jimmy Buffett--kinda funny, kinda cute, but not really as much as the fans make out.

60 Matinee Joe Dante - Got in free. Got a free poster. I saw it at Kenwood. The lobby was full of fake movies from the movie (John Goodman plays an Ed Wood type horror director who just released Mant, part man, part ant). To get in, a nurse made you sign a waiver saying that if you died of fright, the theater could not be held accountable. At two points, a guy dressed like the Mant ran up and down the aisles, once chasing the nurse. The movie itself was good, not spectacular, but overall a fun time was had by all.

61 The Ice Storm Ang Lee
62 The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Stephan Elliott
63 Croupier Mike Hodges
64 The Winslow Boy David Mamet
65 Girl on the Bridge Patrice Leconte
66 Bullet in the Head John Woo

67 Darkman Sam Raimi - I've liked just about everything else that Raimi has done but not this. And I got free tickets through Everybody's News.

68 Cannibal! The Musical Trey Parker

69 Fast, Cheap & Out of Control Errol Morris - great documentary involving naked mole rats.

70 Smoke Paul Auster & Wayne Wang - Did see Blue in the Face. Liked that.

71 The Last Days of Disco Whit Stillman
72 Fresh Boaz Yakin
73 Eye of God Tim Blake Nelson
74 Flirting With Disaster David O. Russell
75 Bottle Rocket Wes Anderson
76 Ashes of Time Kar Wai Wong
77 Fallen Angels Kar Wai Wong
78 Great Expectations Alfonso Cuaron
79 Kundun Martin Scorsese
80 A Midnight Clear Keith Gordon
81 Deep Cover Bill Duke

82 Ravenous Antonia Bird - haven't seen it but it looked so bad I never checked it out.

83 Twin Falls, Idaho Michael Polish - Didn't see it but a friend used this movie as an example of how art films are just as bad as action movies. From his descriptions (and he was dead-to-the-money about Titus), Twin Falls might be better off overlooked.

84 The People vs. Larry Flynt Milos Forman - my mother-in-law was Flynt's accountant for a very brief period. He fired her because he was using money from his bar to buy drugs for his now-deceased wife and wanted it covered up. With the same morality of an Enron-exec, he fired anyone who didn't go along with the fraud. If Si Leis had gone after this, Flynt might still be in jail. If Leis had been in charge of taking down Al Capone, he'd have forgotten the tax angle and focused on immorality. And Al would still rule Chicago.

85 Quick Change Howard Franklin & Bill Murray - Pretty good but I'm not sure I'd put it on this list.

86 The Secret of Roan Inish John Sayles
87 Beloved Jonathan Demme
88 Big Night Campbell Scott & Stanley Tucci
89 Topsy-Turvy Mike Leigh
90 Living in Oblivion Tom DiCillo
91 Jesus' Son Alison Maclean

92 Glengarry Glen Ross James Foley - Liked it but it still has the feel of a stage performance.

93 Chaplin Richard Attenborough
94 Dead Alive Peter Jackson
95 Jude Michael Winterbottom
96 Cradle Will Rock Tim Robbins
97 Proof Jocelyn Moorhouse
98 The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl Ray Muller

99 Titus Julie Taymor - Titus Andronicus doesn't get the respect it deserves. Back in 1614, Ben Jonson took a stab at it and critics have pounded away ever since. No one who has read all of Shakespeare's plays would consider it to be his worst (e.g.Timon of Athens) and for years I was convinced the play would make a great movie.
But not this one. Among other things I hated was the "let's make an arty rape" scene. This could be done much, much better.

100 Mystery Men Kinka Usher - The trouble with this movie is that if you haven't read comic books, you'll miss many of the references. Actually, you have to had read one specific issue of the Avengers from the 1980s to get one scene. I did and I loved the movie but can see why so many others didn't.

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