Sunday, November 29, 2009

Underrated: favorite movies with a twist

I've been fascinated by how much money movies make for a while now. Part of it is the phenomena of the flop, a movie that had a huge budget but proved not to be a blockbuster. The other is what I like to call the hidden gem or the small budget hit, which is a movie that isn't expected to do a lot at the box office, but turns out to be a huge, huge hit. I can think of several like that: Black Hawk Down and 300 jump to mind. I think those got huge because Hollyweird accidentally made a movie that most people can relate to, as opposed to the dreck they usually serve up with their left wing messages and agendas. That's a post for another time, I think.

What I have been interested in lately are movies that may or may not have been hits at the time, but have been forgotten or pushed to the back because of new material and holiday movies coming to the theater. Some of my favorite movies are classics, or huge blockbuster hits that are older now and neglected. Still others are films that were never big hits, but turned out to be great little movies. TNT calls some of these The New Classics, but some are just classic in and of themselves, regardless of when they were issued.

Since you know already that I'm working towards a list, here it is! I decided that only choosing five total would be more work than I want to put in on a day off, I decided to choose some categories. These may or may not be in order.

Older Action Movies. These can be war movies, gangster flicks, or anything else that pretty much has guns as a central theme. lol!

1. Black Hawk Down. It was a huge hit, but it's such a great demonstration of the American spirit that I have to include it. It should not be forgotten.

2. Hatari. Even though it's not a Western, this is one of my top six John Wayne movies. Red Buttons and many of the character actors that are seen in John Wayne movies are here, and the story is flat out fun.

3. The Big Hit. It's the quirky movie on the action list. Its about hit men, but its part comedy, quasi-love story, and revenge flick all in one.

4. The Buccaneer: Probably my all time favorite movie that doesn't star John Wayne. The cast is epic, the story huge and sweeping, encompassing both a pirate story and a story of the founding of America. What's not to like?

5. The Longest Day. There just aren't that many stars in a movie anymore; it's too expensive. This film is huge, epic and has more stars than fit on the Hollywood Walk of Stars.

Comedies. These had a profound effect on my sense of humor, and I still find them hilarious. Many of these were hits, but they should be considered must-see flicks.

1. Stripes. Deep and profound effect on my sense of humor. While it lacks heavily in realism, it makes up for that in just plain funny.

2. Ghostbusters. The first was funniest. The ending of the second was bad. It is said that there will be a third, with the original cast having singed on to do it.

3. Strange Brew. I think most people don't get Bob and Doug McKenzie, but I still find this movie funny. I have a couple of the McFarland Toys Bob and Doug playsets, too. They're awesome.

4. The Hangover. This one's way over the top and not for everyone. If you're not easily offended, though, it's a terribly funny movie.

5. Ski School. The second one sucked. This one had a particular spirit about it that was pretty dang good. With a "b" movie like this, it's easy to go over the top and ruin the suspension of disbelief, but they minimized that with this flick. It just makes me laugh.

Others. These are movies that I dig but can't fit in just one category. There's cop stories, actioners, sci-fi, and..."other".

1. The Fifth Element. Its not just that I'm a Milla fan. This is a great story with some innovative tricks thrown in. Its funny, it's action packed, it's just plain entertaining.

2. Shaun of the Dead. It's a zombie movie with greatness involved. It's a new classic.

3. In Bruges. It's all kinds of quirky. Not everyone will love it, but if you're kind of into the Guy Ritchie thing, you might dig this.

4. Public Enemies. This didn't do quite as well as it should have. Fantastic cast, and it's different. Normally, a film like this is either from the cop's or robber's POV. This one goes pretty much right up the middle. If you didn't see it, you should have. It releases to DVD in about a week or so.

5. Appaloosa. You have to ignore Renee Zellwegger in this one. Its not about her anyway. This is a great cowboy story of The Reckoning.

6. The Proposition. Another off the beaten path Southern Hemisphere Western. This one's set in Australia. Its a story of choices and family. Powerful and intricate.

7.Bad Boys II. Its a guilty pleasure, and I like it better than the first. I hope they can get together to make a third.

8. Zombieland. Again, not a perfect movie (there will be a LOT more zombies walking around), but very entertaining, and one of the greatest cameos EVER. Like the girl said, "He just gets me". If you don't know what I'm referring to, you have GOT to see this one.

9. The Ghost and the Darkness. Well cast, memorably performed, and classical in subject matter. This one was a moderate hit, but I fell in love with it from the first showing. I got the same rush from the suspenseful moments as I did when I thought I had jumped a black bear while hunting.

These kinds of posts are always changing and variable, because there's always movies I can't remember at the time I'm doing this. I'll have to start taking notes and keeping track of ideas. I'm just not quite there with this list. I'll revisit this later.

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