Overlooked/Underrated Movies

coolhandgopher

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The conversation over on the "meeting celebrity" thread that diverged into conversation about Beautiful Girls, the movie filmed in Minnesota with the likes of Timothy Hutton, Michael Rappaport, Natalie Portman and other notables, got me thinking about the vast number of movies that have been released over the years that for whatever reason have been overlooked.

I'll start with a few of my personal favorites and kick it off with Charley Varrick. Walter Matthau is obviously associated with his comedies, but he was a dynamite all-around actor, as evidenced by his star turn here, where he plays a con man evading the mob after a bank robbery:
 

coolhandgopher

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One of my favorite movies of all-time doesn't seem to get the love it deserves, The Day of the Jackal (the original, not to be confused with Bruce Willis' remake which I haven't bothered to watch yet). An assassin is hired to kill Charles de Gaulle and a police officer trails him to prevent the murder. Roger Ebert described the movie as such-"it's two and a half hours long and it seems over in fifteen minutes".
 

coolhandgopher

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In the mid '90s, during my grad school days, I spent a lot of time watching independent movies and the next run are from that period, including Smoke, starring Harvey Keitel, Stockard Channing, and Forest Whitaker. I can't remember a lot about the movie, other than I quite enjoyed it, I need to track it down again:
 

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Another riveting movie from that period was Fresh, a tough movie about an inner city kid who witnesses a murder and needs to take care of himself. Another movie that it's been a long time since I've watched and the details are vague, but the end of this movie remains vivid:
 

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The coming of age movie has been done and overdone throughout the years, but I thought The Way Way Back did it very well with Sam Rockwell playing a particularly memorable role very well and Steve Carrell playing against type as a dickhead:
 


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In the mid '90s, during my grad school days, I spent a lot of time watching independent movies and the next run are from that period, including Smoke, starring Harvey Keitel, Stockard Channing, and Forest Whitaker. I can't remember a lot about the movie, other than I quite enjoyed it, I need to track it down again:
I stole the "taking a picture of the street scene" idea from that movie. Did it at my job for years.
 

short ornery norwegian

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If we expand this to obscure movies, one of the funniest movies I have ever seen is an Australian movie named "Don's Party." Directed by Bruce Beresford, best known for "Tender Mercies" and "Driving Miss Daisy."

Don's Party is set on election night in Australia. A group of college teachers and friends gather to watch the election returns. as the night goes on, they start getting drunk, which leads to fights, insults, sexual escapades, etc. Most of the dialogue could not be posted here. One character is getting divorced, and keeps offering to show people naked pictures of his ex. Lots of profanity and nudity.
I came across this late one night on HBO. I would describe it as an intelligent sex comedy.
 

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As a Natalie Portman film triggered CoolHand to start this thread, my choice is another recent film of hers, Annihilation. Typically, I am not much into a SciFi/Thrillers but I thought this was the best movie of 2018. It was not marketed at all for some reason. Despite it being a huge hit with critics, it was pretty much yanked out of theaters within 2 weeks.

In addition to Portman, it was a great acting ensemble with Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac & Gina Rodriguez. It was written/directed by Alex Garland who also did Ex Machina.
 

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Another one that popped to mind from a few years back, Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. Small, well-acted, clever story that came out during awards season and pretty much was ignored, but I remember it being pretty enjoyable.
 



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The coming of age movie has been done and overdone throughout the years, but I thought The Way Way Back did it very well with Sam Rockwell playing a particularly memorable role very well and Steve Carrell playing against type as a dickhead:
One of my all-time favorites
 

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The In-Laws, 1979 version. Peter Falk and Alan Arkin are hilarious.
 


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As a Natalie Portman film triggered CoolHand to start this thread, my choice is another recent film of hers, Annihilation. Typically, I am not much into a SciFi/Thrillers but I thought this was the best movie of 2018. It was not marketed at all for some reason. Despite it being a huge hit with critics, it was pretty much yanked out of theaters within 2 weeks.

In addition to Portman, it was a great acting ensemble with Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac & Gina Rodriguez. It was written/directed by Alex Garland who also did Ex Machina.
I'm going to check this one out. Thank you.
 



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Hard to know what is underrated since we all have different views of what is good/respected, etc.

But I will say that Lost of the Mohicans is often overlooked, in large part because it was made within a few years of Braveheart which was so critically acclaimed.

I still don't know if I have laughed as hard in the theater as I did at Borat. If you let go and laugh at yourself/each other for a few hours, that movie is hilarious and often overlooked for raw comedy.

Almost Famous - I know this is well regarded, but even if its well regarded I find it underrated. It was such a great movie, awesome soundtrack and any movie with Philip Seymour Hoffman (RIP) is underrated.

Go Gophers!!
 

coolhandgopher

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Hard to know what is underrated since we all have different views of what is good/respected, etc.

But I will say that Lost of the Mohicans is often overlooked, in large part because it was made within a few years of Braveheart which was so critically acclaimed.

I still don't know if I have laughed as hard in the theater as I did at Borat. If you let go and laugh at yourself/each other for a few hours, that movie is hilarious and often overlooked for raw comedy.

Almost Famous - I know this is well regarded, but even if its well regarded I find it underrated. It was such a great movie, awesome soundtrack and any movie with Philip Seymour Hoffman (RIP) is underrated.

Go Gophers!!
Last of the Mohicans is a great call-came out right around the same time as Dances with Wolves-give me LotM. The final half-hour or so was spine-tingling-the music, the hand to hand combat scenes, the sister leaping off the rock-whew, chills.

And Almost Famous is right therewith High Fidelity for my favorite music-based movie. It’s also been a great movie to watch when I’ve felt homesick over the years.
 

coolhandgopher

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As a Natalie Portman film triggered CoolHand to start this thread, my choice is another recent film of hers, Annihilation. Typically, I am not much into a SciFi/Thrillers but I thought this was the best movie of 2018. It was not marketed at all for some reason. Despite it being a huge hit with critics, it was pretty much yanked out of theaters within 2 weeks.

In addition to Portman, it was a great acting ensemble with Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac & Gina Rodriguez. It was written/directed by Alex Garland who also did Ex Machina.
Found it on Netflix, thanks!
 

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Some of this gets down to personal taste.

One of my faves is "Cat People" - the 1982 version directed by Paul Schrader.

Nastassja Kinski in an erotic thriller with lots of nudity and some gore. Malcolm McDowell does some awesome scenery-chewing as the villain. Annette O'Toole has a topless scene. And Ed Begley Jr gets his arm ripped off by a black leopard. What more do you need in a movie?

David Bowie provided the end-credits song.
 


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Almost Famous - I know this is well regarded, but even if its well regarded I find it underrated. It was such a great movie, awesome soundtrack and any movie with Philip Seymour Hoffman (RIP) is underrated.

Go Gophers!!

I had it regarded enough to be in my Top 10 in another thread. ;)

For Bleed, CoolHand and anyone else who likes Almost Famous I recommend Jim Miller's Origin's podcast which celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the film. 5 episodes close to 6 hours total. I did not think such a thing could keep my attention for that long but I started listening to it on a trip back and forth to Brainerd and the time flew by. I binged listened the whole thing. It's great in my opinion, but I am totally the target audience for this.


Jim Miller wrote the in depth books on SNL & ESPN. I am also familiar with him from when he's a guest on the Dan Patrick show. The podcast features Cameron Crowe as well as all the prominent actors still with us, Patrick Fugit, Billy Crudup, Jason Lee, Kate Hudson & Frances McDormand, Even Jimmy Fallon & Zooey Deschanel who do not have big parts in the film participated and give interesting insight. Also Nancy Wilson and Peter Frampton give great insight on how they captured the realistic 70s music feel to the picture.

I was also worried it would take away from the mystique from the film. Even though I re-watched this early when quarantine started (5th time total I think) in mid-March I felt compelled again to watch last week after hearing the podcast.

Still great.

If the 6 hours is not enough there is also a Rolling Stone Zoom round table with Miller, Crowe, Fugit, Hudson and Crudup:

 



Costa Rican Gopher

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Hard to know what is underrated since we all have different views of what is good/respected, etc.

But I will say that Lost of the Mohicans is often overlooked, in large part because it was made within a few years of Braveheart which was so critically acclaimed.

I still don't know if I have laughed as hard in the theater as I did at Borat. If you let go and laugh at yourself/each other for a few hours, that movie is hilarious and often overlooked for raw comedy.

Almost Famous - I know this is well regarded, but even if its well regarded I find it underrated. It was such a great movie, awesome soundtrack and any movie with Philip Seymour Hoffman (RIP) is underrated.

Go Gophers!!

I saw Borat at the theater in Costa Rica by myself and laughed so hard that I went back and saw it again the next day.

Almost famous, as you point out, is well regarded, but still underrated. "I'm glad you were home." "I'm always home. I'm uncool."
 

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Rumble Fish. Mickey Rourke in his prime, Matt Dillon in his prime, Dennis Hopper, Diane Lane, a young Nicholas Cage, Lawrence Fishburne & Tom Waits. Brilliant movie.

 
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Costa Rican Gopher

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Another underrated film with Mickey Rourke in his prime (and Faye Dunaway) is Barfly.

 

coolhandgopher

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Since Dazed & Confused was on my mind, I think Everybody Wants Some is pretty underrated. Following Boyhood and hyped as the sequel to D&C, I was surprised more attention wasn’t paid when it came out and afterwards. I don’t think it’s one of his classics, but I enjoyed it.
 

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Since Dazed & Confused was on my mind, I think Everybody Wants Some is pretty underrated. Following Boyhood and hyped as the sequel to D&C, I was surprised more attention wasn’t paid when it came out and afterwards. I don’t think it’s one of his classics, but I enjoyed it.
I think think it's great too. I bet similarly several among the cast are going have long stellar acting careers.

When I saw it in the theater, I thought Zoey Deutch reminded me of Lea Thompson. Found out later, she's her daughter.
 

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A stupid comedy that I was thinking about a few days ago...because the Power Trip morning show had Erik Stolhanske on. If anyone cares about the Broken Lizard guys (Super Troopers, Beer Fest, Club Dredd)....they had a less notable movie that came out in 2009 that went straight to DVD called The Slammin Salmon. I thought it was pretty damn funny....and would definitely recommend it if you like their other movies.

Basically (the late) Michael Clarke Duncan absolutely steals every scene. I commonly use a phrase of his from the movie (which it turns out Don Meredith actually coined back in the 70s?): “If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas."
 

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ive always thought rosencrantz & guildenstern are dead was a great, underrated movie.

 

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Dusting off this thread I am calling attention to another Oscar Isaac movie, this time with the Coen Bros, Inside Llewyn Davis, from 2013. As it was music centered again with collaborator T Bone Burnett, much as anticipated after O Brother, Where Art Thou?

It's quite a serious tone set in early 60s Greenwich Village, but I think it's really good as a slice of life type of picture for a down on his luck folk singer. Having not been familiar with Isaac, I just assumed he was primarily a singer shoehorned into the role. As I have found out in the several films I have seen of his since, it was the the other way around...he's a classically trained actor who can just happen to play guitar and sing. Pretty well.

Carey Mulligan as a supporting role was a great dual threat acting & singing as was JT who played her current boyfriend in the film. As a side note, it's the project in which she reconnected with her now husband (they knew each other as kids), Marcus Mumford. I'll go out on a limb and venture a guess that one of their kids hits it big some how in the performing arts.

Anyway, it's one of the Coen Bros better films, at least in the top 50% if their total body of work.
 
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Bad Gopher

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The coming of age movie has been done and overdone throughout the years, but I thought The Way Way Back did it very well with Sam Rockwell playing a particularly memorable role very well and Steve Carrell playing against type as a dickhead:
One of my favorites. The best of the genre IMO. That said, this one hit me in my emotional wheelhouse:



Great line: "You'll always be my favorite ex-boyfriend."

I've thought for some time that I could make a great film from my first romantic relationship, but how do you film a sex scene sensitively and with restraint? Well, this film did it. It got mixed reviews, but a work of art in my opinion.
 
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