At this point, it should be no surprise that I’m a movie maniac, but what is surprising to me is how some amazing movies go completely under the radar. It may be because they are independent-made films or they didn’t get the advertising and critic reviews that they deserved (probably since most of these advertisements and reviews are a result of money from the studio, just saying). Sometimes just the opposite happens and the movie gets panned before it even comes out for confusing plots or when fans don’t agree with the casting choices. Granted, sometimes these complaints are right (*cough* Sofia Coppola “Godfather III”), but other times they are over exaggerated and destroy the movie’s reputation. These are some amazing movies that I felt went below the radar but deserve recognition.
This is a reboot of a 1980’s movie based off a comic book series “Judge Dredd” about a dystopian future where Judges are the only Law starring Sylvester Stallone and Rob Schneider, so you can see where I’m going with this. The original movie was so cheesy and campy that I’m not surprised that the remake didn’t get any recognition. The reboot was done with Karl Urban as the title character and Lena Headey as the villain (surprise surprise, she’s not just a “Game of Thrones” villain), and they were phenomenal. This film, I’ll admit, was basically was a very flashy version of “Die Hard”, but it still performed amazingly well with great action scenes, explosions, and Karl Urban was incredible. People who saw this kept asking for a sequel with Urban, and I hope they do.
This is probably one of the best noir-style mystery films that no one saw, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt in his earlier years. The premise is a high school boy tries to find out what happened to his ex-girlfriend and pushes his way into an underground crime ring of high schoolers. What I found to be particularly memorable about this film, was how the characters interacted with each other and made it seem like the classic black-and-white noir film of a P.I. against the world but casting teenagers in their place. The popular kids are the high-end socialites, the bullies and junkies are the crime lords and bodyguards, and the outcast is the detective all on his own (not that I’m connecting this to real life experience).
This thriller starring Michael Douglas follows a man who for his 40th birthday receives an invitation to play a one-of-a-kind game like no other. What follows was probably the most insane and dramatic thriller I’ve ever seen that keeps you second guessing throughout the entire movie. If you’ve seen Inception, you’ll probably be familiar with the concept this movie displays masterfully, but you will continuously be asking yourself whether Douglas’s experiences are real or it’s all just part of The Game.
“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”
Another Neo-Noir film, sue me. This mystery-comedy stars Robert Downey Jr. as a former their turned actor turned detective (it’s less confusing than I make it out to be) and Val Kilmer as the stone-cold P.I. who spends most of the movie yelling at Downey for doing something stupid (which he nearly always does). While this film provides a very serious mystery, and a comeback for Downey after his lapse into alcohol and drugs, there’s also a ton of comedy thanks to Downey’s narration of the story where he comments on everything (and yes, even when he screws up).
If you know me, you know I hate Romance flicks. So you’re probably wondering why I’m saying a movie with the word “romance” in title was good. That’s just the fun part. In this movie that was written by Tarantino before he started directing, only up to a third of the movie has to do with romance, the rest is insanity in violence, action, crime, and a few hilarious scenes. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is probably one of the best movies ever made.
After the “Batman v. Superman” fiasco, there’s no way anyone would want to watch a comic book film directed by Zack Snyder. However, let’s take a look back at another superhero film by Snyder that went underappreciated, except for the fact that this one was actually good. Based on the amazing graphic novel by Alan Moore, this awesome combination of superheroes vs. reality stems from the question “Who watches the Watchmen?” The acting in this movie was amazing, especially the on-screen portrayals of the characters, and is probably one of the closest adaptations of a graphic novel so far. Unfortunately, audiences weren’t ready for the extra-long super-violent storyline with confusing plot twists, which resulted in this movie’s downfall. If they thought it was long before, they’re probably glad they didn’t see the director’s cut.