Saturday, September 6, 2014

What Movie Should We See That We Probably Haven't?

Now's your chance to turn everyone on to something great.

Part of the joy of being a movie lover is being able to champion certain films and bring them to the attention of others. Then you don't have to be alone at the party anymore -- you've got a group of people with which you can talk about something great. So let's try to do that this weekend. Bring more eyes to a great movie you don't think enough people have seen...or even know about. If you can tell us all how we can see your pick (is it streaming? On DVD?), even better.

I can't wait! I love getting recommendations.

91 comments:

  1. One movie that continues to hold a special place in my heart is Searching for Bobby Fischer. I know a few people who skipped it because they thought it would be a boring chess movie. Chess is the arena, but the movie is really about parents and children. It's not a tear-jerker, but I am in tears every single time. WATCH IT. It is one of the "free" movies offered if you are an Amazon Prime member.

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    1. I would second this. I really liked it too.

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    2. One of those favorite movies that sits on my Amazon wish list for years because of the absurdly high price. I keep hoping to find it in a pawn shop or something.

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    3. Great call on Bobby Fischer. Joe Mantegna is one of the all time great movie dads in this one. Very uplifting stuff.

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    4. Sounds good to me. To suggest a film of a similar kind I would go with Little Man Tate, directed by Jodie Foster. I really like that film! Also if you want to see kids thrive in a dicumentary please seek out a wonderful documentary called Louder than a bomb. Both of these films are available on amazon for a good price in the used section.

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  2. My pick is specifically and especially for Patrick. It's a little, tiny movie called Gone with the Wind. I don't know if you've heard of it or not, but it's pretty great. You should see it if you still haven't. Or don't. Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

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    1. Haha! To get a pick out of the joke I will suggest Mother India, which has been reffered to as the Indian Gone with the Wind. They say this not in terms of plot but with scale. It is an epic that follows a hard working mother and her two sons. In fact why not recommend a few other Indian films whilst I am at it. I love a few smaller ones. Raincoat and Moonsoon Wedding are both beautiful. Fire, I need to watch Meeta's two follow up films because yes to her. The Chess Players, Ray's films have a lot of well deserved respect but this one is lesser known I would say. For Bollywood I would go with 3 idiots, Lagaan and Colour it Yellow.

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  3. There are so many but I'll go for Mary and Max. It's a really lovely Australian claymation black comedy/drama with voice work from Toni Collette and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It's funny and heartfelt and beautifully made and everyone should see it!

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    1. It brings a tear to my eye when I watch it, it really is beautiful. To recommend a silly but fun claymation, Flushed Away is worth checking out.

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  4. As a fan of historical political dramatizations, I'd like to suggest a double-bill of HBO origin-story biopics: Warm Springs, starring Kenneth Branagh as a newly-paralyzed FDR learning to get his mojo back (filmed on location at the real site, including the cottage he actually lived in!), and The Gathering Storm, starring Albert Finney as Churchill in the years leading up to WW2. A sequel to the latter was made, Into the Storm, in which the (rather younger) Brendan Gleeson took over as the PM, and a not-Kenneth Branagh actor appeared as FDR, which is a bit of a shame, as a Finney-Branagh crossover scene would have been truly epic.

    Still, all three films are excellent.

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  5. I hate to be redundant as I have twice recommended this movie in previous posts this year - but "Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen" is one of the best films I have ever seen. I saw it earlier this year and it vaulted to my top 10, maybe even 5. It blew me away people, believe me. It's a movie for people who love movies and a celebration of film and filmmaking. It's from the director of "Hukkle", "Taxidermia" and most recently "Freefall" (which I can't wait to see) and if it were allowed to be nominated, it would have destroyed the award for editing. Unfortunately, It will never be released due to rights issues BUT it was billed as an "educational film" which allowed it to tour a ton of festivals in 2012. I believe it closed the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Luck for us - It's available on YouTube!!! Watch it here and prepare to fall in love

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    1. "lucky" for us. sorry, I get excited just writing about this movie.

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    2. I really enjoyed Taxidermia and Hukkle. I will be checking this out. Thanks!

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    3. You got it! Post your thoughts after you see it.

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  6. Executive Suite (1954) is a corporate drama by visionary director Robert Wise (The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), West Side Story, The Sound of Music). William Holden leads a star-studded cast in a story of business politics and ambition as a company's Board scrambles to pick a new CEO after the founder dies unexpectedly. The portrayal of different executive personalities is somewhat stereotyped yet authentic -- I have worked with groups like this during my career. It's a character-focused, slow burn that may not be for everyone. If nothing else, watch the last 10-15 minutes for Holden's boardroom speech. The underlying themes are still relevant sixty years later.

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  7. The Sunset Limited is a film I recommend to anyone - 90 minute conversation between two completely opposite characters about life, played by Samuel L Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones.

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  8. Belgian film from a few years ago, Bullhead. Don't let the description turn you off, it has great performances and is absolutely worth a watch

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    1. I saw Kim Ki-duk's Moebius the other night and thought of Bullhead quite a bit. It's (Bullhead) on Netflix Instant for anyone interested.

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  9. Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010). It's streaming on Netflix and amazon. I love this movie. It's very hard to describe but I would say it's an art/horror film that is also sneakily a pitch-black comedy. It was influenced by David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick. Warning it is veeeeery slow paced and not for everyone. The closest thing I can compare it to is Under the Skin.

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  10. Like the broken record that I am, Alan Partridge!
    why werent more people talking about this?

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    1. I loved the new Alan Partridge installment. Jealous of anyone who has not gotten to know that character yet.

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  11. I don't know how unknown it is, but I just finished rewatching The Man Who Would Be King (1975), which is one of my all time favorite movies. It's based on a novella by Rudyard Kipling about two British officers in British India of the late 19th century, whose goal is to become kings of a small region called Kafiristan. I love the old school adventure feel of the movie and Sean Connery and Michael Caine as the two leads are excellent (although it has to be said Caine slips into cringe-worthy broad comedy at times). And the final image of the film is forever etched into my brain, having seen it as a little kid and finding it extremely scary.

    On a different note, I've long been a champion of Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra (2002). The first live-action Asterix movie is mostly boring and the later ones are pretty crappy, but Mission Cleopatra is a great zany comedy that's insanely entertaining and highly rewatchable. Or it might just be me.

    Oh, and one more. The Man from Earth (2007), written by the great Jerome Bixby, is a highly gripping shoestring budget sci-fi piece, with the feel of a Twilight Zone episode. I don't want to spoil even the premise, but the whole movie revolves around discussions between eight people in one location, and it grips you instantly. A little heavy-handed in a couple of places, but all in all a thoroughly enjoyable movie.

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    1. Jerome Bixby had written essentially the same premise as a classic Star Trek episode but wasn't fully satisfied with its execution (it's one of the highlights of Season 3 in my opinion). The Man from Earth is the realization of his lifelong dream to retell that story. If I recall correctly Bixby collaborated with his son on his deathbed to write the screenplay and didn't live to see the final film.

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    2. I'll second "The Man Who Would Be King," it's an old-school Hollywood adventure epic that happened to be made in '75 because that's when Huston could make it. Connery and Caine chemistry to die for, epic production values and enough Mason conspiracies to choke Brad Meltzer! ;-P

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  12. I'll go with three animated films

    Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion Story has the best animation I've ever seen in a movie. It combines cel animation, some CGI, and even some stop-motion photography of people or felt silk, as well as being a very well-written and directed story that hits all the right emotional and intellectual beats. As a sequel to a TV series, you need to watch the twelve episodes before watching, but the series is equally great. I'm recommending this to fantasy, horror, action, and drama fans.

    Mary and Max is this wonderful stop-motion comedy-drama about two pen pals, a 44-year-old man in New York, and an 8-year-old girl in Australia. The movie goes with them for a very large portion of their lives, and is very much about their friendship.

    Thirdly, Persepolis. I get the feeling a lot if you have seen this already, but if you haven't, you really should. Strong use of color, strong main character, and a mostly engaging autobiographical tale.

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    1. Mary and Max is really, really good. Great choice.

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    2. Puella Magi Madoka Magica sounds really good! I will try and find it. I love a few animations that some might not have seen. Wonder Woman (2009 film that is much smarter than some people gave it credit for), A Monster in Paris (a very charming monster movie), The Road to El Dorado (a really fun and silly buddy movie) and Sita Sings the Blues. Nina Paley practically created this herself, it is gorgeous and she decided to put in the public domain so people could watch it, so you can check this out on youtube for free. I am probably going a bit overboard this week but this is one of my favourite subject areas!

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    3. Definitely remember to watch the show first. It's available on hulu.

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    4. I can't help but second Sita Sings the Blues. That movie is super impressive for being made by essentially one person.

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  14. Im gonna go for fun


    I put this movie on about 1 a year. Every single year since Ive owned it. Bridget Fonda is perfect here. I just cant fail to find it enjoyable fun every single time. I never hear people talking about it and I love it
    Lake Placid......

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    1. Agreed! I had a great time seeing this in the theater. Need to revisit. This is the movie that should have started Betty White mania.

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    2. I can highly recommend the new Scream Factory Blu Ray of Lake Placid. Extras are a little light but the transfer is a thing of beauty.

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    3. Thanks Matt. Thats going on my wish list. I am from the uk and I just ordered an american bluray player. my multi region bluray only plays muti region dvds not bluray. Easiest solution was to buy american player. Then I can get into the scream factory stuff. There are loads I want but all locked to region 1 or A.

      New player coming this week hopefully

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    4. American bluray player turned up today. :)

      Very nice. What to buy first......

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    5. Its time to order my first new american blurays. I gotta go with your recomendation Matt.

      I just ordered the scream factory bluray of Lake Placid and the bluray collectors edition of The Burning.
      Nice. When its my birthday you all know what I want. All the 80s scream factory horrors

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    6. If anyone want to give any recomendations for great scream factory blurays that would be cool

      Cheers

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    7. Lifeforce, Night of the Demons, Night of the Comet, The Burning, From Beyond, Terror Train just to name a few that you need to see if you haven't.

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    8. Cheers Chaybee. Ive seen um all. great selection. All on VHS though.

      I just ordered The Burning

      From those I quite fancy Night of the Demons and From Beyond. Cheers. You've got good taste. I quite fancy the expensive 3 disc Nightbreed but I don't like the price...

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    9. Whoa! I had no idea that thing is $70.00! That's ridiculous.

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    10. There's another version that only runs $25. It doesn't include the theatrical cut and some of the bonus features, but it does have the Director's Cut if that's what you're interested in.

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    11. Yeah the two disc special edition bluray with directors cut. Thats what I'll most likely end up with.

      This film has so many versions. The cabal cut is 160mins the new directors cut has 40mins of new footage but is only 20 mins longer. making a total of 145mins. Shorter than cabal but there are no good restored versions of this movie.
      I think the 145min directors cut special edition is probably the best version to buy but I would also like to see the R rated theatrical cut but not for that price. I have a feeling it is a totally different movie than the directors cut

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  15. Oh wait! My last one was clearly meant to be a joke (sorry...) because I couldn't think of anything, but I have since come up with something: I'm going to use this platform to champion anime once again and recommend every movie that anime director Hayao Miyazaki has ever made for those not familiar with the genre. He truly made some of my favorites in the genre with the likes of Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and My Neighbor Totoro. I also recommend the achingly sad but great Grave of the Fireflies and the influential Akira.

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    1. I love Miyazaki! I went to see a double bill of Ponyo and Jaws at the cinema and it was a stunning film to see on the big screen. Some shots are so beautifully drawn. In the spirit of this topic I would like to highlight Kiki's Delivery Service. This one is little mentioned when people discuss Miyazaki in comparison to the three you mentioned. I really love this movie so much, it is incredibly charming. For some reason whenever I watch it I feel warm and safe like I am curled in a ball of blankets so I think it definitely deserves a bit more discussion.

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    2. Yes! And I did mention the three that are probably the most well known, but they are truly my favorites. I need to revisit Kiki's Delivery Service, as it has been a while, but "charming" is definitely the word for that one. It's another great choice. I also love Howl's Moving Castle. See, that's the great thing about Miyazaki: he really hasn't made anything that isn't high quality, so there is so much greatness to choose from.

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    3. I love Kiki's Delivery Service. I have to ask - with Miyazaki, do you prefer the original Japanese dialogue subtitled, or go for the English dub? Kiki's is so different depending on which way you go - especially when Phil Hartman is voicing her cat.

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    4. Showed "Kiki" recently to family for the first time, including a 4 year-old niece that now says she wants to grow up and become a witch. And let's just say my sister is mad at me that, because I showed Kiki to her kid, she now has to lock brooms in closets because the niece wants to grab one and try and fly on the porch outside. :-) Kids, when they're not yours your job is to spoil 'em rotten. :-P

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    5. Brilliant J.M! I have always loved witches. I based an English Literature essay for my Fairy tale module on them. I am a witch shhh. My siblings loved Kiki as well. To answer your question Steve I love Phil Hartman's interpretarion of JiJi. I also think Kirsten Dunst brings some light and shade to it that makes Kiki feel a bit more like someone who learns to mature. I need to re-watch the Japanese dialogue version because the last two times I watched it was in English. I loved it with my siblings so much I just wanted to re-watch that version. They did sit through Totoro in Japanese once! I had to read for them but they were enchanted. Then I brought the DVD home and started going through quite a few Ghibli films!

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  16. I've got two:

    1) The Hidden Fortress-- Famous for being the movie George Lucas most closely based Star Wars off of, this is one of Akira Kurosawa's best kept secrets. A good old-fashioned adventure that sees Tishoro Mifune escorting the princess of a defeated clan through hostile territory with a hidden treasure and two bickering peasants. Beautifully photographed and incredibly fun, it's also a nice critique of the male-centric war movies Kurosawa made earlier in his career. Simply wonderful.

    2) Stagecoach-- Probably better known, but one of John Ford's most overlooked movies and my personal favorite Western. John Wayne's star making role, gorgeous Monument Valley in beautiful black and white, and a biting social commentary disguised as one of the most enjoyable Western adventures ever. Plus, the great Thomas Mitchell in one of his greatest roles. In a year that gave us The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, and Mr Smith Goes to Washington, Stagecoach stands tall as my favorite movie of 1939.

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    1. Both are part of the Criterion Collection streaming on Hulu Plus.

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    2. The Hidden Fortress has been on my must watch list for a while, this has bumped it up a bit higher. Stagecoach is a brilliant film! I agree I think it is quite overlooked when it comes to Ford's movies. Ninotchka is my second film to come from 1939 (the first being The Wizard of Oz.) It really was one of the best years for movies. Ninotchka is pure comedy gold from start to finish.

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  17. This is a recommendation for those of you (like me) who find it hard to pull the trigger on comedies made in the '20's. About a year ago I watched "Safety Last" starring the third most well known comedy star of the silent era: Harold Lloyd. It is extremely enjoyable. You've all seen the famous image of Lloyd hanging from the hands of a clock, but the entire sequence above the streets of New York is incredible. I found it breathtaking at times and I imagine it made some moviegoers faint in it's day. Looks like it's not streaming on Netflix anymore:( but definitely worth renting in HD (not Youtube) because the photography is stunning.

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    1. I saw Safety Last for the first time a month ago, and it was one of the most intense viewing experiences of my life. Great movie!

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    2. I really love Harrold Lloyd! I recommend The Kid Brother if you haven't seen it yet. We have loads of his movies in the library and I have enjoyed all of the ones I have watched.

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    3. Thanks Gabby. I'll definitely check it out.

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  18. Animated-Akira
    Drama/Adventure-The Way Back
    Horror-Stake Land
    Comedy/Horror-Grabbers
    Family/Drama-Breakfast With Curtis
    Horror/Found Footage-The Bay
    Terrorism/Panic-Right At Your Door
    Spanish Horror-Come Out & Play
    Philosophical horror- The Wall
    Simplistic Drama-This Is Martin Bonner
    Apocalypse Adventure-The Last Days

    All of these stream on netflix except Akira, I just through that in because it is a personal favorite. All these movies I feel were either especially good, or just down right entertaining.

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  19. Anytime someone is looking for a great unheard of film I reccommend The Hill, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Sean Connery when he was still in the middle of his Bond run. It's a gem that is somewhat forgotten amongst their other credits.

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    1. That's a great film - but man, is it brutal.

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  20. Deathtrap. As far as I know it's not streaming anywhere (except maybe Warner Archive Instant) but it's sooooooooooo good. It's stagey (it's based on a hit play by Ira Levin of Rosemary's Baby fame) and I still don't really love the ending, but other than that it's such a fun movie. Michael Caine is fantastic as a burned-out playwright and Christopher Reeve does career-best work as a young protege that Caine may kill to steal his surefire-hit new play. The movie balances tense and funny very well, and it's absolutely worth checking out if you haven't seen it.

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    1. Deathrap is a lot of twisty fun!

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    2. Another vote for Deathtrap. Im quite fond of the Micheal Caine. I thought he was also great in the original 1972 Sleuth with lawrence olivier

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  21. I've a bit of a weird one for everyone: Next of Kin (1989). I'd never claim that it's great, but it's a fun Chicago cop vs. the mob movie who brings in his Appalachian relatives to help avenge his brother. Oh, and the Chicago cop is Patrick Swayze. His brothers are Bill Paxton and Liam Neeson. Ben Stiller as a mob boss' son. Adam Baldwin as a mobster. Andreas Katsulas as the mob boss! Helen Hunt! It's a weirdly fun piece of schlock.

    (Side note: I met the very nice Andreas Katsulas at Dragon*Con once, where he was doing the usual rounds as a Babylon 5 actor. I admitted to him that I'd never seen that show but that I actually liked his work in Next of Kin. He laughed and told me that there was always one person at a con who brought that movie up, usually a Chicagoan.)

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    1. Jacques Tati or Steven Soderbergh?

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    2. ^^^ Either one works for me. :-)

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    3. I love Tati, I have yet to see Traffic but if you guys haven't seen M. Hulot's Holiday, Playtime or Mon Oncle they are great. I have a postcard of M. Hulot's Holiday on my wardrobe!

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    4. You know, I don't think I've even seen a Jacques Tati movie. I know Criterion has a big box set of his work, but I don't know if they're on Hulu. I should find out and watch some.

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  23. Alice (1988) I'm not a fan of Alice in Wonderland, but this is an exception.

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  24. Jan Svankmajer; genius. Great pick, Luke.

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  25. Might be obvious for some, but it was new to me up until a month ago: Nobuhiko Obayashi’s "House." So wonderfully absurd. Truly bonkers and fun. It's on the Criterion Hulu channel.

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    1. That movie is nuts, and I love it for that reason.

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    2. Watched it for the first time at a friend's suggestion at about 1 am. I had to re-watch it again a few days later at a reasonable hour to make sure I saw what I thought I saw.

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  26. I've got nothing movie-wise (until Melissa's great column it would have been Pontypool) - I guess I'm just not that cinematically adventurous and lately any obscure movie I watch has probably been recommended here, so I'm going to throw out a recommendation (again) for a TV show (available on Netflix) that also has some movies associated with it, but movies that shouldn't be watched without watching the show: THE TRAILER PARK BOYS. It's a pre-The Office faux documentary style comedy that certainly captures rural Nova Scotian life but also enough universal truths to have something for everyone. The whole series is available on Netflix, with each season running only a couple hours - takes a little while to find its footing and then towards the end struggles a bit for new material but Seasons 2-5 are gold.

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    1. Season 8 just got released. Im onnit.
      Green bastard forever. Kitties are so nice....

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    2. Awesome! Yeah, I started watching it this weekend - it's not a return to former glory or anything but it's NOT BAD (F-Translation: It's FINE). :)

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  27. A "Green Lantern" movie because the last one wasn't a movie. Fml

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  28. With #ScaryMovieMonth approaching, I would like to recommend the "Coffin Joe" Brazilian horror movies by Jose Monica Marins. Specifically, I recommend "At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul" and "This Night I'll Posess Your Corpse". There is an official sequel, "Embodiment of Evil", that I haven't seen but have heard good things about. There are dvds of the older films but video transfer is not the greatest. Synapse Films has been working on a new transfer for a few years and curtly told me it would only be for dvd, not bluray.

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    1. I second this. Those movies are freaking awesome.

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  29. THE VISITOR (1979): Even with a Blu-ray from Drafthouse Films and showings on TCM Underground (it's also currently streaming on Amazon Prime) I don't think this batshit-crazy movie has received enough ink. Any plot summary sells this every-70's-horror-and-sci-fi-movie-into-one-insane-flick spectacle woefully short. You and someone (anyone!) have to sit down and watch the movie that features a youngish Lance Henriksen, John Huston, Glenn Ford, Shelley Winters, Franco Nero, Sam Peckinpah, Mel Ferrer, Joanne Nail, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and a little kid (or her stunt ice skater/midget) blow your fragile little mind like they did mine.

    SCHIZO (1976): On hindsight this was my major discovery of Junesploitation. Can't even describe the plot without spoiling major things, so you'll going to take a leap of faith with me: if you like horror films that are smarter than they appear and play a long game you have to catch this. It's currently streaming on both Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime.

    There are many others I'd like to push on people ("Starcrash, which is like "Guardians of the Galaxy" if James Gunn hadn't made the latter; "The Searchers," "Ida," every Miyazaki movie ever made, etc.) but "The Visitor" and "Schizo" are the one's I'd love my fellow F heads to embrace for their audacity to do/go where they went. Movies that take chances should be rewarded, even if in the case of "The Visitor" it's an accidental, runaway-train type of insane brilliance.

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  30. I just watched Jackie Brown again and I've never had that movie click with me the way it did on this viewing. I'm a huge Tarantino fan but never gave Jackie Brown its due as one of his better films until now. The way that movie sets up and satisfyingly pulls all the characters and plot threads together at the end is so incredible to watch and the dialogue in this movie is so fast and sharp and funny. The performances are all top notch especially the inspired casting of Robert Forster as Max Cherry and Pam Grier as Jackie. Their love story is one of the best I've seen on screen and I love watching them together. It's a great movie and one that continues to be overlooked in Tarantinos filmography, including by me for awhile. I encourage everyone to check it out, it's one of my favorite movies of all time now.

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    1. I only saw Jackie Brown for the first time in the last year and I also found it to be a really great movie. I echo everything you said.

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    2. One of Tarantino's best by far.

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  31. If you're reading this site, you've probably seen it. On the off chance you haven't, see Zero Effect. Trust me.

    Also, if you aren't overwhelmingly cynical and actually respond to heart-on-sleeve sincerity, you may like Cloud Atlas. Or love it. Or hate it. I'm not entirely sure anymore. All I know is that I do love it dearly and not nearly enough people seem to have seen it.

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  32. There is a movie called "Omaha (The Movie)" and while it's not the best movie you will ever see, it's a fascinating little indie comedy gem. It's one of those "Guy searches for the meaning of life in his own backyard" sort of movies, but it's actually a lot better than it has any right to be. Doesn't mean it's very good, but it's okay and I end up feeling like they really tried to make something.

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  33. I'd love for you guys to do "CBGB" (2013). I've heard mixed stuff so I haven't had the courage to rent it on Amazon. From what I hear the only "good" performances are from the famous musicians casted as some of the CBGB acts.

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  34. I recommend the 1961 Hammer film "Scream of Fear." The lead is played by Susan Strasberg, Lee Strasberg's daughter. I first saw it on Australian television (my parents moved there for work) about 15 years ago and it's stuck with me ever since. It is suspenseful and unsettling and has some great scare moments. Also, Christopher Lee said it was the best Hammer film ever made so...

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    1. Awesome to hear someone recommend this. It's on my list for scary movie month this year.

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  35. I am fairly certain that almost everyone into horror movies and/or James Gunn on this site has probably seen this by now, but I'd like to throw out a pick for those who may not have seen it (maybe a good pick for Scary movie month?): Slither.

    I actually just saw it for the first time this afternoon and man is that movie fun. Between this and Guardians of the Galaxy (and I still need to see the entirety of Super), I am a huge James Gunn fan now.

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    1. Just re watched Slither this week John. I still enjoyed it. I particularly like the bath tub scene. Its shot exactly the same speed and angle as the freddy glove in the bath tub scene. Its a nice homage. Great monster movies. Nice and slimey

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  36. With scary movie month coming up I would say if people like feeling an overwhelming sense of emptiness and existential dread they should see Noriko's Dinner Table.

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