TAKE 5: Movies You Love to Share

I asked folks to provide the five movies they love to share with people, be they obscure, under-appreciated, or forgotten. This installment of TAKE 5 is brought to you by the Animaniacs, who frequently would pay homage to the movies they loved (or hated). Here is a picture from their send up of Bergman’s SEVENTH SEAL…

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We can start of with my list. In no particular order, here are my 5 movies to introduce people to.

RAVENOUS – I haven’t seen this in maybe seven or eight years, so I hope it has aged well. This horror-comedy with Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle is well-paced and plain crazy. The score is nuts too. I loved bringing this to people when I was in college.

THE GENERAL – I know this isn’t obscure, but very few people watch silent films anymore. It was either this or Chaplin’s Gold Rush, and this wins out because of the sheer brilliance of what I think is probably the best silent film ever made. I love introducing people to Keaton or Chaplin.

HELL IN THE PACIFIC – This is a 1968 movie starring Toshiro Mifune and Lee Marvin about a Japanese captain and American pilot, respectively, who are stuck on an island together. First they fight, then they realize they won’t survive unless they work together. This movie was released identically in Japan and the US without subtitles. It was later remade as Enemy Mine. I’m not sure if Enemy Mine was released on Draco without subtitles.

PRIMER – A tight little sci-fi movie made without much of a budget. Time travel has, in my humble opinion, never been done better. A great indie find.

THE INSIDER – This thriller about a real 60 Minutes story regarding the tobacco industry is one of my favorite films ever. It’s a little long, it’s not action-packed, and it isn’t a sexy story. A lot of people have passed this by because of factors of that sort. But the intensity of this movie is real, and the chemistry between Al Pacino and Russell Crowe is legit. Haven’t shown this to anyone who hasn’t loved it.

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A buddy of mine from work, here is Brad’s list.

So, Take 5 films I love to introduce people to. Here it goes:

1. BURIED
Obviously, to see the look of despair on another’s face is more than satisfying. Definitely a must see if you’re into more cynical subject matter.
2. THE MIST (B&W Version)
The ensemble assembled here is just perfect and the special effects just look much better in black and white. Another film with a slam bang ending that you won’t soon forget.
3. THE FOUNTAIN
Certainly an overlooked and underrated gem by Darren Aronofsky, its thematic material on life and what comes after death is just beyond beautiful. Plus, its score is written by Clint Mansell and Mogwai which just adds to the greatness of the performances and abstract storytelling.
4. DEAD ALIVE
If you haven’t seen it, please do yourself a favor and bask in all its glory and prepare for a grueling exercise in outrageous gore. One of Peter Jackson’s finest!
5. THE PRESTIGE
I couldn’t make this list without mention of a Christopher Nolan endeavor. Personally, I believe this is Nolan’s absolute best film with performances, writing, and directing so strong that it’s hard not to feel transcendence when viewing it. Pay close attention to the subtle score and some of the underlying themes of the story. It goes much deeper than you may want it to. >:)

JOHN HERE: Nice list. BURIED fell off the radar quickly, and it is a solid movie (even if the whole experience hurts)… I have been meaning to watch the B&W Mist forever. Need to get on that. Ditto the Fountain… I had no idea Mogwai did the score for The Fountain. I need to see that RIGHT NOW… Dead Alive I haven’t seen in years. I remember enjoying it… The Prestige certainly is not obscure, but there are too many people who have not seen it. Get them on it!… On a personal note, I can’t believe that Brad did not include AntiChrist on this list. He has an unnatural love for that movie… Thanks Brad!

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Here is a list from The Vern. And here is a link to his site!

Recommending obscure movies is a tricky one because you really haft to know your audience.  My parents refuse to watch any foreign movies so that leaves alot off this list.   A lot of my friends won’t watch any horror or real serious dramas either, and they are sometimes skeptical of certain comedies as well.

I’m not sure how obscure these movies are, but I don’t think a lot of people have seen them.

The Vern’s Somewhat obscure Movie List. (In no real order)

5.  PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO
The story is about a lonely housewife (Mia Farrow) whose only means of escape is the local movie theatre to watch her favorite show.  Hi jinks happen when one of the characters steps off the screen and into her life.  You may think based on this description that this will be just a dumb silly rom-com, but  director Woody Allen puts some twists in this that I was not expecting and it turned out to be a very rewarding watch.

4.  PAPRIKA.
Satoshi Kon’s animated masterpiece about a machine that can see inside each of our dreams and let others be a part of it.  When the device is stolen, one of them will have to go into the dreams to help stop it.  Why this wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Film is beyond me.  It is really just amazing.

3.  NIGHT WATCH
I am actually proud of myself that I was able to take a few friends who don’t normally like foreign movies to see this with me.  The story is about battle between 2 supernatural forces(light vs Dark) and the truce that has maintained for a long time. Well until its revealed that a young kid my be the new ruler for the dark side.If this was done in English it would still be good, but what I love best about this is all the cool effects they do with the subtitles.  Words fade in and fade out.
When a character yells the words fly out at the screen

2.  BRINGING UP BABY
Howard Hawkes classic screwball comedy with Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant.  The dialogue between the two are still funny no matter how old the movie is.

1.  HOUSE
No not the TV show.  This is the Japanese fantasy/horror film about a group of school girls who spend the summer at one of their aunt’s spooky house.  This is Scooby- Doo on Acid.  A major fun watch.

JOHN HERE: Only one I’d seen was Nightwatch (which I liked), and I hadn’t heard of Paprika or House, so this list gets high marks for introducing ME to new stuff… Paprika sounds AMAZING… I need to see more Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in general… I’m all for good horror, so I plan to hunt down House. Thanks for the list!

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Here is a list from my friend (and sometimes editor when I really screw something up), John.

THE EXORCIST III: One of my favorite horror films. The Exorcist II is legendarily bad, so almost nobody saw the third one. It’s a real shame, because this is truly outstanding. The acting is absolutely superb. In particular, George C. Scott and Brad Dourif (aka Grima Wormtongue) deliver some of their best performances, in my opinion. The dark and creepy scenes are *extremely* effective, and the somewhat lighter moments between Scott’s Lieutenant Kinderman and Father Dyer are fantastic as well. If it weren’t for a few moments of rather sloppy editing, this would easily be one of my top 10 movies of all time (it might be anyway, come to think of it). Everyone I’ve introduced this one to has enjoyed it so far.

GATTACA: Sci-fi is not for everyone, but anyone I know who likes sci-fi needs to see this movie, and it seems a lot of people haven’t. This is not a “hard sci-fi” movie – there are plenty of things about the world that is presented that are unrealistic. That’s not the point. This movie has a lot to say about perseverance in the face of adversity, challenging social norms, overcoming preconceived notions and outright discrimination, and dealing with failure when one seemed destined for success. It also features some really great acting from Ethan Hawke and Jude Law.
THE PRESTIGE: This is not only a great Christopher Nolan movie (done between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight), but a great conversation starter for me. There is so much I like to talk about with this one: the accuracy in its depiction of magic, the similarity in the rivalry of the magicians to the real-world rivalry between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, the stories (real and alleged) about Tesla that are depicted in the movie, etc. I’m surprised how little attention this one got.
DOLORES CLAIBORNE: I suspect if people look at a synopsis of the plot, this one’s a hard sell. So was The Shawshank Redemption. A drama written by Stephen King about a woman who may or may not have gotten away with murder. I’m still amazed at how many people I mention this to who have never even heard of this movie. Everyone knows about Kathy Bates’s performance in Misery, but I believe her performance in this is better. The story continually leaves you guessing about what really happened and why.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Yep, I still run into a whole lot of people who haven’t heard of this one. Word of mouth has fixed that to an extent, as did Kevin Spacey’s oscar, but it’s still almost criminally unknown. I love watching people’s reaction to the ending.
JOHNLINK: Thanks John! You personally introduced me to Exorcist 3, Gattaca, and Dolores Claiborne. And you are right, I loved all three. Exorcist the third was surprisingly good!… You know how I feel about Prestige and Usual Suspects. Both are movies with huge fan-bases among movie fans, but with less of a reputation with casual movie fans. We will keep fixing that though…

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Here is a list from Eric over at theipc. Check out his blog (currently featuring the fantastic Shitfest) here!

I hope you like these – now – back to work!

RUBBER: This independent movie about an animated tire that goes around blowing people’s heads to smithereens makes little sense. In fact, it spreads it’s little sense around on the ground like manure and then rolls around in it. It’s hilarious, beautiful and says “F YOU” to Hollywood. I love it
BLOODY BLOODY BIBLE CAMP: this throwback to 80s horror is HILARIOUS, bloody and even a little sexy in some places. This probably won’t be for everyone but if you don’t take it seriously for one second, you might just love it. READ: Ron Jeremy plays the role of Jesus.
PRINCE OF DARKNESS: While this one isn’t funny like the first two on the list, this is one of my favorite movies. It’s subtle, smart and is probably overlooked in the John Carpenter canon. Jesus, the son of God comes to earth and places the son of Satan in a Plutonium canister… and now he’s getting out!
THE SLEEPER: Another 80s throwback recalling the glory days of the “Slumber Party Massacre / Sorority House Massacre” sub-genre of movies. This probably won’t make a lot of people’s top ten lists but this is my favorite type of movie and seems to have been made for fans just like me. LOVE IT. Wish I had written it…
NIGHT OF THE CREEPS: I’ve only watched this 1,000 times in my life.  Worms from space enter your body through the mouth and lay eggs in your brain until they hatch and your head explodes. In the meantime, you’re a zombie. This movie is hilarious with practical blood effects and — Tom Atkins!! You can’t go wrong with this one!!
JOHN HERE: More titles I need to see! I saw the first twenty minutes of RUBBER and kind of loved it, but then my internet connection cut out. I was pissed. I need to get back to it… Of the middle three, I only know Prince of Darkness, but all sound interesting… I had the pleasure of someone introducing me to Night of the Creeps! I LOVED that movie. Tom Atkins for the win. What did this list do? Thrill me.
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This list is from my buddy Gus, who I last saw when he magically showed up to help my wife and I move. I still owe him…
Saw your post and figured I’d put off some actual work to answer.
1. SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT – Jackie Gleason was a comedy genius in his day. This movie is no exception. He is probably in his 60s here and steals the show. Combined with Burt Reynolds’ charm this move makes me laugh every time.
2. GUMMO – This movie isn’t for everyone. I like the lens into the kind of messed up world that exists, especially so different than mine. My enjoyment of KIDS (another that isn’t for everyone) lead me to check this out. It’s very raw and kinda fucked up. Each vignette is like a car crash with tiny bits of humanity shining through. I don’t recommend this to everyone unless we’ve brought KIDS up in a conversation.
3. The HUDSUCKER PROXY – If Lebowski hadn’t blown up, I’d have listed that here instead. This movie just hits the right notes with me. Paul Newman is great, Tim Robbins is great, Jennifer Jason Leigh is…well you get the point. Love the dialog and the “feel” of this one. If I’m talking movies with people, this comes up all the time.
4. FEAR OF A BLACK HAT – CB4 meets This is Spinal Tap. Rusty Cundieff wrote and starred in this. He also did a lot of writing for the Chappelle Show. A funny Docu-spoof on gangster rap with some hilarious one liners and fake songs.
5 – JACKIE BROWN – I feel this Tarantino movie gets underplayed. It’s a little “straighter” than most of his films. I like to watch this one with my dad when he’s in town. A great love story inside of a kind of cool crime drama. A lot of folks can quote Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Basterds (One my top 5 list of movies I haven’t seen and should, well it was on when I was half asleep on a couch once), but not this movie. This is another with a sound track that just wraps things up.
That’s all. Thanks for sparking this little side-tour away from productivity. Hope you and your growing family are well, man. Talk soon.
JOHN HERE... No, no Gus. Thank YOU!… I have only seen Jackie Brown from this list, and only once when it first came out… I completely forgot Gummo existed. That movie was cultishly huge for a bit… Hudsucker Proxy should be in my queue. I always hear good things about that movie… I know nothing of Fear of a Black Hat other than remembering the cover-art from my days at a movie store, haha… Thanks again!
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Misty Layne sent me a list as well! Here is a link to her blog!
Here’s my five:

1. A TALE OF TWO SISTERS – My favorite South Korean horror movie (which isn’t exactly horror more like family drama that’s very grim).  I adore it.

2. ALICE by Jan Svankmajer – My favorite version of Alice in Wonderland done by my favorite Czech director.  Puppets made of bones, a rabbit that eats itself, it’s amazing.

3. The Collected Shorts of Jan Svankmajer – Again, my favorite Czech director and I love his shorts.  Here’s one:  http://youtu.be/Qdd5wBYs54o

4.  GINGER SNAPS

5.  TROMEO & JULIET

JOHN HERE: I know nothing of the first three, which is what I love about the idea of doing a list like this! All are things I’d like to see… Ginger Snaps is one my wife loves and I have never seen… Ohhhh, Troma. Tromeo & Juliet was HUGE when I was in high school (but I never saw it). Great list. There is a bunch of stuff on here I want to seek out!

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My wonderful friend Sarah has returned with another insightful list:
5 movies I have loved introducing people to…Noticed the ‘have loved’. Some of these have become very popular – – I
guess I’m ahead of the curve : )))) (just kidding)- THE PRINCESS BRIDE. This was the movie I grew up watching. Unlike that stupid movie about kids looking for a shipwreck and buried treasure (yup, you heard me), this one can be enjoyed at every age by all ages. My favorite moment was introducing it to Australians one movie night.-THE BIG LEBOWSKI. This film has gained cult status over the years, but way back when, it was that Coen Brothers film that bombed that no one quite understood. I loved introducing it to funny people who had only ever saw it once and didn’t understand it. The second time you watch worrying less about the plot and simply enjoy the characters and dialogue. Then the movie is brilliant.- BENNY & JOON. Johnny Depp’s soaring popularity has made this film noteworthy. And some may shrug it off as one of those lame 90s “coming-of-age” flicks that were all the rage. Yes, this is one. But, me and my friends loved Johnny the moment Benny won him in a poker match.

– AMELIE – It’s beautiful. Its subtitled but I swear it doesn’t need it. The acting speaks volumes 🙂

– LAYER CAKE. At some point I lost track if I was recommending the movie or the wine. Or maybe I loved the film because I love the wine? Anyway, this film features Daniel Craig and Sienna Miller. Enough said.

JOHN HERE: My love for Princess Bride and Big Lebowski is well documented. Great picks… Benny & Joon has been off my radar for years, I will have to find that…. I remember almost nothing about Layer Cake, I remember seeing it and liking it and that is all… Amelie is another on the list of movies I really need to get out and see… Thanks Sarah!

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So, that is all folks! Feel free to add your list in the comments below, or to sound off about anybody else’s choices. Thanks for reading!

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~ by johnlink00 on June 2, 2013.

6 Responses to “TAKE 5: Movies You Love to Share”

  1. This is an EXCELLENT POST, Sir!!!! Excellent!! I love everyone’s entries and your editorials. Great stuff!!

  2. 1.Hard Boiled: John Woo’s action epic. Kinetic gun fights, loyalty, and friendship. This is my all time favorite action film.

    2. Basquiat: Julian Schnable’s bio pic about postmodern graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. One of the best ensemble casts ever assembled with Gary Oldman, Willem Dafoe, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, and Benicio del Toro. Sam Rockwell has a brief cameo and David Bowie plays Andy Warhol.

    3. The Host (South Korea): A fun and quirky giant monster movie with plenty of dark humor.

    4. Chunking Express: Two tales about loneliness and disconnect, within inner worlds, while in the densely populated confines of Hong Kong. I feel that this film inspired Lost in Translation.

    5. Chocolate (Thailand): A melancholy martial arts film about a young autistic woman with the talent to copy any martial arts move she sees. This was done by the director of Ong-Bak and in my opinion, Yanin “Jeeja” Vismistananda is just as amazing as Tony Jaa.

    • Another list from which I have seen nothing, haha. Hard Boiled and The Host are two I feel I really need to see. Thanks for contributing Dennis!

  3. Sorry dude…… When you said Friday I presumed in a few weeks lol. I’m terrible at commitment, I know. Great post though!! 🙂

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