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Offline stethacantus

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The Recommended Viewing Thread
« on: May 05, 2016, 04:56:48 PM »
I noticed there are no threads specifically for recommending movies. ( And if there had been, they are so old that they do not show up in search. ) So here is the basic idea:

 Lets say there is a film you know of that you enjoyed a lot, but is something not many others have seen or probably do not know about, and you believe it is something that everyone should see.  Then recommend it here. Maybe it is a film that came out decades ago that you think the young'uns should know about. Or some art film/documentary/movie with subtitles you discovered that you think almost nobody here has heard of. Or even a movie that everyone avoided and you assumed would be bad, until you watched it yourself and thought "Wow! That movie was great!" And this thread is not just limited to good films. Since may people who use this site get a kick out of watching awful films like Manos: Hands of Fate and Plan 9 From Outer Space, you can also use this thread to recommend  turkeys. ( although, warn them it's a turkey in advance. )

Even if you do not have a movie in mind to recommend, you could use this thread to find a film idea for your next movie night instead of just watching the latest over hyped Hollywood sequel.

I'll start the thread off with a few recommendations of my own as an example:

Mr Hulot's Holiday ( 1953 )
If you have never watched a movie by French film comedian Jacques Tati, then this is the one to see. Among my top 5 favorite films of all time, it has some of the funniest slapstic gags I have ever seen. The plot is simple. A group of tourists from all over Europe arrive at a Mediterranean beachside resort and spend a week on vacation. Among them is the clumsy Mr. Hulot, who throughout the film inadvertently causes havoc for the rest of the guests. While a French comedy, at least half the guest speak in English on the French soundtrack, with most of the other guests being re-dubbed in English for the American release. So there is no worry about having to read subtitles for the entire film. And like most of Tati's movies, the physical comedy in Mr. Hulot's Holiday is so well crafted that dialogue is not necessary. If you are a fan of old slapstick comedians like Laurel & Hardy, The Three Stooges or even silent comedians like Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin, then this is something you may want to see.

License to Kill ( 1989 )
This is the James Bond film most fans of the franchise have never seen. Perhaps because the final couple of Moore films drove audiences away from the franchise. Perhaps because of the backlash when Brosnan lost the role of Bond to Dalton when NBC decided to un-cancel Remington Steele. Perhaps because MGM/UA put out that asinine press release for the first Dalton film, stating that from now on James Bond would practice safe sex by having no more than one woman per film. ( Which was not true. In The Living Daylights ( 1987 )  Bond does screw a second girl in the pre-title sequence. ) Perhaps because it had been released up against Batman and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Or perhaps because MGM/UA limited the promotion of the film, leading many to suspect something was wrong with it.  But whatever the reason,  License to Kill bombed at the box office and caused MGM/UA to put the franchise on a six year hiatus. The shame is that this is one of the best of the original Bond series. A tougher non-comedic 007 with violent action sequences in the style of Die Hard ( 1988 ) rather than the funny car chases that dominated the previous films. Is it James Bond being more like an American action hero than a British action hero? Sure. But that is ultimately what they did with the Daniel Craig films. Not everyone will like this version of Bond. Roger Moore fans seemed to hate this movie. But then again, these same people liked A View to A Kill ( 1985 ). All I can say is that this is among my all time favorite action movies.

The Illusionist ( 2010 )
Film Tati Nº 4 was a script for a film Jacques Tati never made. Written as a tribute to his daughter around 1956, Tati had intended it to be the followup to Mon Uncle  ( 1958 ), but eventually became sidetracked by Playtime ( 1967 ). The script was shelved for decades before his daughter dusted it off and gave it to animator Sylvain Chomet. The finished product, called The Illusionist. (  Not to be confused with the live action American movie of the same name. ) Even if you are not a Tati fan looking for one final film, The Illusionist is a joy to watch. The bittersweet story of  stage performers dealing with the fading popularity of  the music hall as the world turns to television and Rock & Roll, in particular, a magician who inadvertently addopts a poor orphan girl who believes he has real magic powers.

Gamera: Guardian of the Universe ( 1995 )
When Daiei decided to relaunch it's Gamera franchise 15 years after it's last film, it accepted director Shusuke Kaneko's pitch to reboot the entire franchise. The trilogy of films that followed are considered the greatest kaiju movies ever made by fans of the genre. My favorite was the first movie. If you like watching giant Japanese monster movies, then you will love Guardian of the Universe. Even if you are not into giant monsters, it is almost impossible not to like this film.

Some films are not for everyone. Especially experimental art films. If you can't stand those movies then don't even bother reading this section. You will hate these recommendations. But if you are open minded and are willing to watch unconventional films then these are not to be missed.

Spring Breakers ( 2012 )
Director Harmony Korine's style is somewhere between montage editing and trailer editing. Think of the confusing editing of music videos like Madonna's Like A Prayer where shots are shown out of sequence and you get the idea. If you can accept that rhythm of editing then what you have is an entertaining film of four college girls on spring break who end up living with a wigger drug dealer, and get caught up in his turf war with an African American drug gang. Honestly, the only reason I watched this movie in the first place was to see former Disney Channel darlings Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens in an R rated adult movie. I didn't count on enjoying the film as much as I did.

Chungking Express ( 1994 )
While most critics believe director Wong Kar-wai's In The Mood For Love ( 2000 ) is his best film ( It was in the top 25 of BFI's latest 50 Greatest Films of All Time list. ) my favorite film of his is Chungking Express. A nice moody film featuring two stories about police men dealing with their recent breakups. Like most of Wong Kar-wai's films there is barely a plot ( he usually spent a year or more shooting random footage before deciding what the plot of the film was and editing it all together ) but if you have the patience to stick with it, the payoff is rewarding.

Some of you have never seen a silent movie before, and may be thinking of trying a few. Here are my recommendations. I have left out some great films like Metropolis ( 1927 ) and Battleship Potemkin ( 1925 ) because they may be a bit too stylized and artsy for the beginner. Instead I am only recommending the films I have seen so far that would have mass appeal to contemporary audiences.

The Thief of Bagdad ( 1924 )
The General ( 1926 )
Safety Last ( 1923 ) 
Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ ( 1925 )
The Strong Man ( 1926 )
Steamboat Bill Jr. ( 1928 )   
Modern Times ( 1936 )
The Cameraman ( 1928 )
Play Safe!  ( 1927 ) NOTE: Not on home video yet. So far the only way to see this movie is at a revival theater. Hopefully it will be available on DVD soon.
Sparrows ( 1926 )   
The Mark of Zorro ( 1920 )
The Phantom of the Opera ( 1925 )
The Lost World ( 1925 ) 
Speedy ( 1928 )   
The Navigator ( 1924 ) 
The Kid Brother ( 1927 ) 
Our Hospitality ( 1923 )
The Eagle ( 1925 )
The Gold Rush ( 1925 )   
Häxan ( 1922 )
The Black Pirate ( 1926 )
The Wind ( 1926 )
City Lights ( 1931 )   
The Toll Gate ( 1920 )
Nosferatu ( 1922 )

Fist of Fear, Touch of Death ( 1980 )
This is one of those films that has you scratching your head trying to figure out exactly what you are suppose to be seeing. It starts out like an episode of ABC's Wide World of Sports  with coverage of the 1979 World Karate Championship, ( Aaron Banks often filmed the tournaments he promoted and sold the footage to ABC Sports ), which was billed as the tournament to find a successor to Bruce Lee's title of King of Kung Fu. The producers of this film wanted to credit Bruce Lee as the star, and to do so, took old footage of Bruce Lee and re-dubbed it. Sports commentator Adolf Caesar replays what is suppose to be an interview he did with Bruce before he died. It is, in fact, footage from the cancelled television series Longstreet  where Bruce Lee is explaining to student James Franciscus about his fighting technique. James Franciscus was edited out of the scene and Adolf Caesar was edited in, with Bruce Lee's dialog re-dubbed as answers to Caesar's questions. Midway through the movie there is a presentation of what is called "The Bruce Lee Story", supposedly a biography of Bruce, but actually a film he had made as a teenager called The Thunderstorm ( 1957 ) re-dubbed, and intercut with footage from a 70s martail arts film which is suppose to be flashbacks to an ancestor of Bruce. A lot of other dumb stuff happens before the film finally gets back to the tournament and the title bout.

Roots of Evil ( 1979 ) ( a.k.a. Die Brut des Bösen )
back in the 1970s Christian Anders  was a German pop star. That country's equivalent of Donny Osmond. And like most successful singers, during his peak of fame he decided to make the move into movie stardom. Only Anders was not satisfied with just acting. He wanted to write, direct and produce his own films. The first was a martial arts film called Die Brut des Bösen ( he also choreographed the fights and wrote the music score. ) So what happens when you give a German pop star with very little experience in the motion picture business full creative control over a movie? How about the crazy decision to cast dwarf actor Deep Roy as the villain? This movie picked up a cult following in the 80s when it was included in the syndicated Black Belt Theater. But it has not been released on home video in this country. Recently Anders announced the movie would soon be released on DVD in Germany, but gave no release date nor mention if it would be released outside of Germany. But that does not mean this film can't be found yet. A copy of the film released on VHS in Denmark is available as a torrent.

Gamera: Super Monster ( 1980 )
The original Gamera film series came to an end when Daiei Studios went bankrupt. When the studio emerged from bankruptcy a decade later, the new studio heads decided they wanted to release a new Gamera film. Only they did not want to pay for any new Gamera footage. Instead, they decided to simply recycle footage of Gamera from previous films. The new footage that ties this stock footage extravaganza together involves a giant space ship threatening Earth. Add to this a trio of superheroines who are actually aliens from another planet who came to Earth to run a pet store. And what would Gamera be without annoying kids? This one has the most annoying kid of them all, who throughout the film forces helpless victims to listen to him play an organ and sing the song he wrote. If you thought Gamera vs Zigra ( 1971 ) was bad, this movie is ten times worse.

Starcrash ( 1978 )
Probably no need to mention this film here, but if you have not seen Starcrash yet, then you are missing out on something. The combination of a dumb story that keeps getting dumber, and a dream cast of oddball actors including Marjoe Grotner, Caroline Munro, Robert Tessier and David Hasselhoff. The ultimate cult film that never gained much of a cult following. Would make a great double feature with Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam ( 1982 ) ( a.k.a. The Turkish Star Wars )

Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: The Recommended Viewing Thread
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2016, 05:48:55 PM »
The Swimmer is the movie I think everyone should watch. What a wonderful experience that film is. (Even better if you don't know anything about it going in, but here's a trailer if you want it)

Offline stethacantus

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Re: The Recommended Viewing Thread
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2017, 12:11:29 AM »
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame ( 2010 )
A fantastic Asian fantasy film with outstanding visual effects that should not be missed. How the hell this one fell under the radar is a complete mystery. It should have been just as celebrated here as Crouching Tiger; Hidden Dragon

Johnny Unusual

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Re: The Recommended Viewing Thread
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2017, 07:48:00 PM »
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
I know a lot of you are thinking that this isn't exactly an obscure film, but I'm shocked how few people know about this one.  I feel like film fans know this one, but there's something about this I feel should be at the level of Jaws in remaining in the public consciousness.  I first heard it referenced several times on MST3k, but I assumed it was some forgettable TV movie (of which I know Frank was a fan by reading the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide) until I saw it about 5 years ago.  It's such a great, funny, tense movie and all of the actors are on the top of their game.  This is one I could watch almost every day.  It's sort of a piece of the movies like Airport (which I have never actually seen) or the Irwin Allen disaster pictures, with a bunch of characters trying to work together to avoid catastrophe.  But while often comedic (especially a wonderful final scene), but avoids having the cheese I associate with the old disaster pictures.  If you have never seen it, correct it.

Point Blank
I feel like people keep trying to do Parker, right.  Everyone takes him their own way.  There was the more generic and forgettable Parker film a few years ago (simply called Parker).  There was the much more successful but still very Hollywood Payback (I liked it at the time, but I fear I won't like it as much if I revisit it).  But Point Blank is the best Parker adaptation.  Which is funny, since it is an adaptation loose enough that even the lead isn't called Parker.  He's Walker.  But everything else feels spot on the wonderful antihero Richard Stark created.  Walker is a completely professional criminal.  Ruthless, efficient, uncompromising.  He's not a likable man and he's not ready to compromise.  But he believes in a fair deal.  After a prison stint, he ends up going after some money owed, only to find it in someone else's hands.  But it isn't a person, it's a corporation.  And while this corporation is completely unprepared to deal with a guy like Parker, Parker soon finds that he might not be ready for the corporation.  This movie is just oozing with style.

The decision to change the end of the film makes for something much more cinematic and stranger than I expected.

This is the movie that ruined William Friedkins' career in big budget movies when it could have been his magnum opus.  I won't lie, I like this much better than the Exorcist.  Sorcerer is an amazing piece of filmmaking and possibly my favourite thriller.  It's got a great cast of characters, four very different, reprehensible and yet sympathetic criminals who are all in the lowest points in their lives.  Trapped in a Latin American country (name unsaid, but it seems to be under a vague dictatorship), all four men are broke, exiles from their homes in a desperate attempt to escape their crimes.  Soon they are presented with an opportunity to make a lot of money, get new passports and (arguably) become local heroes.  They can get everything they need.  They think they are only risking their lives, but soon it takes a toll on their souls and their sanity.  This is such a wonderful movie and despite being relentlessly bleak, it is also relentless in general, propelled forward at such a pace that it is impossible to turn away.
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Offline stethacantus

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Re: The Recommended Viewing Thread
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2017, 12:15:11 AM »
Looking for a good war/adventure/spy movie, and don't mind having to read subtitles? Then see The Taking of Tiger Mountain. Great battle scenes, great action scenes, and the hero fights a CGI tiger. And on top of that, a villain that sounds like and almost looks like Krankor. And just when you think the movie is over, they hit you with an alternative ending with an even more incredible action sequence.