Saturday, March 04, 2006

I love these movies

I was inspired by Billy D. I worked on this over a year ago and finally got around to assembling a definitive list. Here is a compilation of the most underrated movies ever.

Dogma-Matt Damon and Ben Affleck play fallen angels condemned to life in Wisconsin. Features George Carlin as a slimy yet jovial Catholic priest who’s out to change the trappings of his church, hence the “Buddy Christ”. One gut busting gag after another peppers this irreverent look at organized religion. Chris Rock as the 13th Apostle, Jay & Silent Bob as prophets, Alan Ryckman as God’s right hand, Alanis Morriset as God, and Linda Fiorintino as the great grand niece of Jesus all lend spice to this zany farce. May be the most fun movie ever out of Hollywood.

History of the World-Me and Kenny used to watch this movie incessantly. We had every line of dialogue memorized and every Brooksesque joke down to a tee. This movie has a spoof of the Inquisition, ancient Rome, Elizabethan France, and an opening caveman bit that starts you grabbing your side. History of the World ranks in my top three funniest movies of all time.

Fandango-Kevin Costner’s first starring role as a drunken yet thoughtful frat boy punctuates this critically acclaimed journey to self discovery. Hilarious segments are interspersed with high drama in a beautiful and poignant way. The end gets me every time…Costner stands on a hill and watches the lights turn out and his college days and finally his youth are gone; the camera captures Costner’s silhouette as he raises his beer in a final toast to friends and the care-free days of yore.

Breakfast Club-No movie captured the energy of the 80’s or teen angst so flawlessly. Five diametrically opposed teens get stuck in eight hours of Saturday detention. This movie was quite simply perfect.

Brotherhood of the Wolf-this French film doesn’t feature any notable actors but has for my money the most breathtaking cinematography I’ve ever seen. It’s so good the sub titles don’t even annoy you that much.

Stigmata-I love the premise of Stigmata. The spirit of a devout Catholic priest is captured in his rosary and transmuted into that little pixy Patricia Arquette. She begins to have visions and receives four of the five wounds suffered by Christ on the cross. Gabriel Byrne plays a priest assigned to investigate. Lo and behold, he finds the Lost Sermon of Christ within Arquette’s tortured mind.

13th Warrior-I realize the premise of a heavily accented Antonio Banderas as a Muslim ambassador seems far fetched but in this flick it works. Banderas goes on a diplomatic mission to Scandinavia where he is chosen as an emissary and the fabled 13th Warrior, destined to aide the Norsemen against a bitter and dreaded enemy. The battle scenes were unreal and you develop a fondness for the north men. The climactic fight will bring goose bumps.

Gallipoli-This movie broke my heart. I’ve seen battle hardened men of uncompromising strength reduced to simpering buckets of tears at the end. Mel Gibson plays a prize winning sprinter in WWI Australia. He takes up with his rival in hopes of volunteering for duty in Zanzibar. They are deployed to a small strip of beach known as Gallipoli, a battle that haunts the Aussies to this day. Watch this movie but be prepared to weep like a school girl.

Heat-The shoot out after the bank robbery may be the best action scene ever.

Life as a House-Much like Gallipoli this movie gets me every time. Kevin Kline plays a guy dying of cancer who tries to make peace with his estranged and deeply troubled son, played by Hayden Christianson. Watching this movie makes you realize life doesn’t always come with happy endings.

A Clockwork Orange-Stanley Kubrik’s 1969 masterpiece is a violent and intense tour of the dark side of human nature. Malcom McDowell is brilliant as an amoral hedonist who’s only bent on debauchery.

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape-Johnny Depp is terrific as the lone male figure in a house with a bed ridden mother, retarded teen brother, and two indispensable sisters. Then along comes Juliet Lewis to turn his world up side down. Add the death of his beloved mother, the precocious brother, an affair with the local MILF, and jacked up friends and you get one mixed up dude.

Honorable mention-American History X, Deep Cover, Sleepers, Kingpin, The Devil’s Advocate, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Interview with a Vampire, Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead, A Perfect World