Sunday, 28 November 2010

10 Great Movies you may not have seen...

10.Swimming with Sharks (1994)
What's it about?
Kevin Spacey is the odious studio boss, treating his underlings like trash whilst sycophantic to superiors. Frank Whaley plays his latest employee who eventually has enough...
Why should I see it?
Originally known as "The Buddy Factor", this film industry satire contains an outstanding performance from a pre-Oscar Kevin Spacey. Whaley is also good as his poor downtrodden lackey, whilst solid support comes from Star Trek: The Next Generation's Michelle Forbes and Benicio Del Toro.
JD's Favourite scene: Eschewing the famous sweetener scene, my favourite is when Spacey, having surreptitiously hung-up, praises his junior whilst supposedly still on the phone to a colleague. Whaley knows anyway what's happening; and Spacey, with a gloriously masochistic glint in his eyes, knows he knows, but simply doesn't care, lapping up the power he has over his assistant.
JD's Favourite quote: Buddy (Kevin Spacey): "Avoid women directors. They ovulate. Do you have any idea what that does to an three month shoot?"

9.The Way of the Gun (2000)
What's it about then?
When a surrogate mother is kidnapped from a gangster by a pair of punks it sets in motion a tragic series of events as the mob boss tracks them into Mexico.
Why Should I see it?
Christoper McQuarrie's excellent modern western features a superb cast - pretty boy Ryan Phillipe, Juliette Lewis, James Caan and Benicio Del Toro are all fine. Way of the Gun is fast-paced, violent and exciting.
JD's Favourite scene: Oh, it's gotta be the opening scene!
JD's Favourite quote: Mr.Longbaugh (Benicio Del Toro): "There's always free cheese in a mousetrap."

8.Miracle Mile (1988)
What's it about then?
A man answers a public phone outside a diner and receives a strange, ominous call - missiles have been launched and the end of the world is nigh...
Why Should I see it?
Miracle Mile has a curious air to it and this ensures you never quite know what's going to happen. It's certainly an odd film - a cold war thriller, with early scenes more like an awkward romantic comedy. It also stars Anthony Edwards and strangely enough his future ER co-star Mare Winningham.
JD's Favourite scene: That fateful phone call.
JD's Favourite quote: Harry Washello (Anthony Edwards): "Mrs. Peters, in a half-an-hour there's going to be a full-on nuclear attack. The missiles are on their way now. L.A.'s going to be a desert again very soon."

7.The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension (1984)
What's it about then?
This Sci-fi spectacular concerns two rival alien species, a device for travelling to alternate dimensions and a brilliant half-Japanese inventor/rock star Buckaroo Banzai.
Why should I see it?
Because it's energetic, inspired, clever, funny and makes absolutely no sense. It also has a great cast including Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum and Ellen Barkin.
JD's Favourite scene: The raid on Buckaroo's base by the aliens: tragedy, drama, action and a watermelon.
JD's Favourite quote: John Whorfin (John Lithgow): "Take her to the Pitt. Go, Big-booty. Use more honey. Find out what she knows."

6.One False Move (1992)
What's it about then?
A trio of murdering criminals, led by Billy Bob Thornton, wander into the quiet Southern town of Star City, officiated by local sheriff Bill Paxton who clashes with the big city cops following them.
Why Should I see it?
Because it's a masterclass in slow-build tension that also features a performance from Paxton that until 2002's Frailty had not been bettered. The poster caused mild controversy: the shooter was removed from many versions, causing much confusion.
JD's Favourite scene: The unexpected closing revelations.
JD's Favourite quote: none suitable!

5.Below (2002)
What's it about then?
Set in 1943, Below is the story of an American submarine and some nasty goings on that occur when they pick up survivors from a stricken passenger vessel.
Why Should I see it?
Deftly taking the natural tension of a submarine movie and giving it a supernatural slant works surprisingly well, and the movie has an intriguing twist. Directed by David Twohy (Pitch Black).
JD's Favourite scene: Either the early drama with the sinking of the ship or that mirror scene.
JD's Favourite quote: Hoag (Andrew Howard): "What if, when we took on that kraut ship, we didn't sink 'em? What if... they sunk us?"

4.Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)
What's it about then?
Steve Martin plays Rigby, a 1940's private detective, hired by the elegantly beautiful Rachel Ward.
Why Should I see it?
Interspersed with the real cast are many of the stars of yesterday such as Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. It may not always work perfectly, but it's fascinating to watch, and funny too. Ward is also stunningly beautiful in clean black and white.
JD's favourite Scene: When Rachel Ward first walks in...
JD's favourite quote: Rigby Reardon (Steve Martin, in voiceover): "I hadn't seen a body put together like that since I solved the case of the Murdered Girl with the Big Tits."

3.Trespass (1992)
What's it about then?
Two firemen (Bill Paxton and William Sadler) discover a map to hidden gold in an old abandoned warehouse; the only trouble it's a local gang who's turf they've unwittingly infringed upon.
Why should I see it?
Trespass is a tense, muscular, action-packed thriller that doesn't let up for it's slim running time. Originally titled "Looters", it's title was changed due to a certain riot in Los Angeles...
JD's Favourite Scene: The tense gangland execution.
JD's Favourite quote: Bradlee (Art Evans): "That's the beauty of gold. It never tarnishes. Lasts forever, too. You can twist it, pound it, even piss on it but it's always the same gold. It was here long before we were and it'll be here a long time after we're gone. I bet you a lot of men have died for the gold that's just in this one piece."

2.Ravenous (1999)
What's it about then?
Set in a frontier US Army base, Guy Pearce plays a cowardly soldier sent there as a back-handed punishment for "heroically" pretending to be dead before taking out a Mexican outpost. When a mysterious stranger arrives, all is not as it seems...
Why should I see it?
It's different (a cannibal film set in 1840's US) and the production values are superb: authenticity seeps from every nook and cranny of the Army Base. Pearce and Robert Carlyle are well supported by the likes of Jeffrey Jones and Jeremy Davies.
JD's Favourite Scene: A trip to the cave reveals the stranger's true nature.
JD's Favourite quote: Colhoun (Robert Carlyle): "Breakfast. Lunch. And Reinforcements."

1.Zero Effect (1998)
What's it about then?
Bill Pullman is Daryl Zero, a chronically shy but brilliant private detective, hired to solve a perplexing blackmail case. He's assisted by his friend Ben Stiller, a role refreshingly lacking in Stiller's usual annoying comedic schtick.
Why should I see it?
Intriguing, subtle and engrossing, Zero Effect presents a standard criminal thriller and twists it with a paranoid detective finally coming out of his shell. Sharp dialogue and a leaning towards classic Conan Doyle doesn't do it any harm either.
JD's Favourite Scene: When Zero meets Gloria (Kim Dickens).
JD's Favourite quote: Steve Arlo (Ben Stiller): "He can tell you where you were born, how old your mother was at the time, and what you had for breakfast, all within 30 seconds of meeting you."


  1. Nice feature, JD :) You're right, I haven't seen any of them but I want to now!

  2. cheers rks, you may even like the odd one!

  3. I've seen a couple of them and heard of all of them so I'll do a run through by number.

    10: Have been wanting to see for years but somehow keep missing it.
    9: Saw part of it on TV and off what I saw it seemed to be quite bad.
    8: Want to see.
    7: Wasn't particularly fussed about seeing by might watch it now.
    6: Have read about it and want to see.
    5: Not fussed about seeing.
    4: Wouldn't mind seeing.
    3: Watched this years ago and thought it was a good film, it was on recently but I missed watching it again unfortunately.
    2: Watched this and thought it was terrible, ended up laughing at parts of it and being bored during the rest.
    1: Again watched this years ago and thought it was a good film

    A couple I would recommend if you haven't seen them: Nurse Betty with Renee Zellweger and Morgan Freeman and Freeway with Reese Witherspoon and Kiefer Sutherland, two films that I quite like.

  4. I always saw Ravenous as a dark comedy. I don't think an edited TV version of Way of the Gun would do it justice! Although to be honest if the opening scene doesn't hook you, don't bother!