Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Best Movies You Probably Didn't Even Know Existed...

Blockbuster, not living up to its name, has filed bankruptcy, and is closing a lot of its retail stores. That means the outlets getting ready to shut their doors for good are clearing out all of their stock and pretty dirt cheap prices, and I'm right there helping them to reduce their inventory. To be sure, I'm adding to my personal collection with some No-Brainers (a LOT of the Battlestar Galactica series), and some movies that I enjoyed in the theater but wouldn't pay $15 to add to my library (Resident Evil: Afterlife), but it's also given me the chance to purchase some really amazing films that I saw once upon a time, but never bought because they didn't make it to the New Release endcap at Target or Walmart. So I'm taking this as an opportunity to list off some of the movies that sit at the top of my list as really great movies from the last 5 years that you (any of you) probably haven't seen or even heard of:

1.) The Invisible. For some really dumb reason, they marketed this movie in a way that if you saw the preview, your natural and forgivable response would have been "Huh, well, I liked that the first time they did it, and called it The Sixth Sense..." and then you never bothered to watch it. It stars Justin Chatwin (who is gorgeous) and Marcia Gay Harden (who is always a rancid bitch, but does it in an amazing way), and isn't at all what you'd expect it to be. Yeah, it's a 'ghost' story, but it's also a love story, but not in a way that you expect there to be pottery sex or something like that...it's a different kind of love story, and it doesn't have a happy ending. You'll cry, but you'll be touched, and glad you did.

2.) Sunshine. It's Sci-Fi, but if they hyped this film (even on the Sci-Fi channel) I had never even heard of it until it was in theaters, and even then I almost missed it. It's low-budget (so was Star Wars F.Y.I.), but not low quality, and it has an A-List cast that includes Rose (Damages, Attack of the Clones) Byrne, Chris (Fantastic Four, Captain America) Evans, and Cillian (28 Days Later, Batman Begins) Murphy. It's a bit like Alien, but without the aliens...if that makes any sense. It's Science Fiction in the truest sense of the term, with the plot relying on each part of the term equally, and the special effects exist to move the plot along rather than make the audience think "whooohoo, pretty!" Even if you don't like movies like Independence Day, Aliens, or Star Wars, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.

3.) The Nines. Not 9, the 3-D animation movie, but The Nines. And I have NO idea how to even describe this movie. It has Ryan Reynolds in it, and that's about as far as I can even begin to describe it. I suppose it's a thriller, but it's also one hell of a mind-fuck. Just when you think you know what the movie is about and where it's going, it turns itself on its ear and makes you start all over again.

4.) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. If you just read that and thought "It's not even out yet...", you're only proving my point. The books are setting record sales, and of course Hollywood wants a part of it. Production has begun on the film scheduled to release later this year starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig, but in the hype surrounding this "sure to be blockbuster", everyone seems to overlook the fact that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and the other two chapters in the Millennium Trilogy) have already been made into films in Sweden. Yes, they're in Swedish, but the DVDs give you the option of subtitles or dubbed English versions. If you've read the books, you owe it to yourself to see these films as they are sure to be more true to the vision of the author than the Hollywood versions (conversely, if you've seen these films, you need to read the books too).

4 comments:

  1. Awesome RJ! I added The Invisible & The Nines to my Netflix queue. Serious question, "The Girl With..." better to read the book first or see movie first?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmmmmm...tough question, but I'll go with 'read the book first'. Mainly because as an English Major, I always go with 'Read The Book First'. It is part of a trilogy though, so keep that in mind (though Dragon Tattoo is more stand alone than Played With Fire and Kicked The Hornet's Nest. Those two are really more of one giant story split into two).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wanted to let you know I watched Invisible this past weekend. I really enjoyed it. Loved the chick character! I am confused why you thought it wasn't a happy ending though. I thought it went full circle.

    Since I was so impressed with this pick, I will continue onto Nines.

    Thanks for your reviews. I like discovering a good gem in the mix.

    ReplyDelete
  4. And...I watched The Nines. Unfortunately, I had to watch this over the course of a few nights because I watched it tired and found I needed to go back and catch up on what I may have missed. This one was pretty good, too. I admit I was a bit confused as to how it was going to all play out. Really liked the characters in this (multiple) and the very last scene literally took my breath away. The moment the woman said "Thank you." like she should be happy with her life as it was. Deep, personal moment for me.

    ReplyDelete