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The "Great Movies You've Probably Never Heard Of" Thread


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We all have that one movie we love that nobody else seems to have seen, I mean, be it because it's been lost to the mists of time, or that it was marketed horribly, a lot of great movies slip through the gaps. This thread exists to correct that, this is a thread where we can bring up and discuss movies that others may have not heard of, suggest and recommend them. Really, the main goal is to expand horizons, make you watch something you may have not watched otherwise. 


I'm gonna open this with a little known comedy film from the 80's, this film is called UHF.




Indeed, the movie does star "Weird Al" Yankovic, the famous parodist, and he also wrote the film. The basic premise is this - Al plays a character called George, a lazy day dreamer who stumbles into a job managing a low-budget television station, and, rather surprisingly, find success in his bizarre programming choices. This causes a major station to gain an intense dislike for this competitive upstart, leading them to plot his, and the station's, downfall. The film also contains various cutaway scenes, showcasing the programs shown on the channel and George's dreams. This gives us such bizarre hilarity as this advert for "SPATULA CITY",




This film wasn't exactly well received at the time, and I have no idea why. It has a hilarious vibe to it, and you can really feel Al's writing come through with the various parodies of popular movies at the time, such as a rescue sequence, seen in George's eyes as a Rambo style rescue. A cult classic that'd I'd heartly recommend you watch. 


So, let the obscure movie sharing...BEGIN!

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An Act Without Words Part 1 & 2.


Ok... this isn't really a film, it's a play, only it's been adapted into film, both versions are... kinda ok... but if you want an example of really Kinda good acting and some good acting as well as some really interesting uses of film as an artform. 


You should probably give them a watch.


Part 1 is much stronger if you ask me.


Part 1:




Part 2:



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Going through Imgur made me run across some sci-fi film recommendations, and I gave this one a shot:




The poster shows a literal event in the film, but it's merely a backdrop to allow us to explore the behavior of a woman whose life is changed as a result of the new planet's appearance. The character development and romantic tension are so nail-biting that those who go into the movie begging for greater sci-fi will just be absorbed in the human drama and completely forget about it...until the ending, which is thoroughly joyous, confusing, and presents really open if not disastrous conclusions for the storyline and humanity as a whole. In short, it's awesome. I really suggest going in completely blind to watch this, but if you want a little more at the risk of spoilers, here's the trailer:



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Well, here's a movie that probably some won't know or probably won't bother watching but eh, whatever.




This film is called Nanban, Friend in Tamil, it's a film about friendship and the struggle of education in college, it's a Tamil remake of the Hindi film, 3 Idiots. The film focuses on 3 guys in college and their wacky hijinks. The film is comedy-based but it has its drama and romance moments. I really enjoyed this film and I hope you guys would atleast give the film watch, it is a nice film to see.



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Going through Imgur made me run across some sci-fi film recommendations, and I gave this one a shot:

Another Earth was a cool movie, I wasn't hugely satisfied with the ending but I enjoyed the journey.  A very quiet and thoughtful experience.


A couple from me:




Moonrise Kingdom

A sort of surrealy done film about two kids in love who run away from home together.  There's a huge cast of characters and a lot more to the film than that.  Plenty of humour and sentimentality to it, and it's a Wes Anderson film so it is shot absoloutely impeccably.  You'll remember pretty much every single scene for years to come.


Another film by him is out at the moment, The Grand Budapest Hotel.  I recommend that one thoroughly too.  Much more dark in its comedy, but just as quirky, tremendously funny and perfectly - to an impeccable degree - shot and acted.





The Science of Sleep


By the same director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  You know how he so perfectly visually captured the feeling of recalling partially complete memories in that film?  In this he does the same with dreams.  The story's about a not-all-quite-there guy who is struggling in life and losing touch between what is his dreams and what is reality more and more.  It's set in France but it's a bilingual film where the characters talk in a mixture of (subtitled) french and english.  The dream sequences themselves are full of cool stop-motion effects inspired by arts and crafts, and regularly just manage to capture that certain... SOMETHING about dreams that makes them so floaty and disjointed and surreal.  If you're a fan of stuff like Eternal Sunshine or Amelie - films that love to blur the line between imagination and reality on a regular basis, absolutely watch this film.  Like Amelie this is full of lovely off-beat awkward human humour moments too.

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Ohh man, I've been waiting for a topic like this. I have quite a bit of films that little people in general know of, and this might be my time to talk about them. But first, let me begin with this little hidden gem here:


Of all the anime films I've come to watch, this one only gets some sort of acknowledgement on very, very sparse occasions. But I'm here to say that this film is fan-fuckin'-tastic, and I'm here to tell you why! As you can probably see above, the film's name is Metropolis (or Metoroporisu in Japanese), based off the manga by the renowned artist and animator Osamu Tezuka, of Astro Boy fame particularly. It also takes inspiration from the 1927 silent German film by Fritz Lang, who if you're a film buff, have heard of at least once. But enough with the rambling, let's get on with this film.

So yeah, Metropolis, this movie rocks. I already told you that, but it's now time for me to say why... whatever, I know I'm reiterating what I just said, here we go. First off, lemme talk about the animation. It's a mix of both traditional-hand drawn animation with some CGI environments, backgrounds and objects. Considering this came out in 2001, the results can look a bit conspicious at times, but for the most part it's unadulterated eye candy, and the painted backgrounds are still just as stunningly gorgeous as ever. The hand-drawn animation is also very smooth and fluid for the most part, and is at a higher frame rate for the most part compared to most anime films. It successfully brings Osamu Tezuka's art style to vivid life, and it looks appealing despite it's cartoony aesthetic and it oddly fits in a serious film like this.

The film's sense of scope makes it feel like you're watching this huge, sprawling story unfold. Seriously, some of the shots in this film are huge, particularly in the third act and climax. With the story mentioned, the basic thing is that there's this boy named Kenichi and his uncle Shinsaku Ban and they find a female humanoid robot named Tima. The rulers of the city want to use Tima to activate a superweapon in a giant skyscraper in the middle of Metropolis called the Ziggurat in order to extend mankind's power across the planet, and it all goes on from there. A sizable amount of people have criticized the story as pretentious and a complete mess, and while I will agree that some parts of the story were there just as filler, it's one of those movies where you have to pay really close attention to the plot to understand everything that's going on, something akin to Cloud Atlas (well this film has nothing like a structure close to that film, but y'know what I'm getting at.) The film has a quite serious story for the most part, it delves into politics, the ethos regarding the line between humanity and technology, and protecting what you believe in. It does have it's more humorous moments to settle the mood, but it's still really dark and at times very violent. Some scenes near the end will particularly stay with you, they sure did with me.

One more thing,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vhc2qg99o0the music, it kicks all sorts of ass. It's jazzalicious and has this perfect mix of orchestra, piano, and some Sonic CD-ish cues here and there. You never thought jazz music would fit like something like a sci-fi anime film, but god does it accentuate the film's setting and mood so well. I've had the soundtrack since I've seen the film, and I listen to it at least once a day. And the ending song is so damn angelic, Minako Obata's voice is heavenly in that song, might even make your eyes a bit teary if you know the context... if you've seen the film and all.

Seriously, give this a listen, it's a great song.
by Ray Charles also plays during the climax (not spoiling anything for those that haven't seen it), and it makes all the more a tearjerker and more poignant and effective of a scene, one of the most well executed climaxes in any film as far as I'm concerned.

Unfortunately, this film didn't do very well at the box office in Japan (or here in America, either, as most anime films here don't tend to do well here) due to a rather sizable budget to make back by Japanese standards, which is why it's slipped into obscurity among most save for anime & animation buffs/Osamu Tezuka fans. I'd highly recommend this to anybody really, it has beautiful visuals and great animation, an involving (though admittedly what could've been less padded at times) story with very thoughtful undertones and messages, excellent music, and it just makes for a great anime flick, and a great movie in general. Go for either the Japanese version or the English dub, both are really good.

Here, have a trailer:

Might post in here again about another movie, if you know me you might probably know what it might be.
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This is a comedy known as "Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines: Or, How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours and 11 minutes"




Long-as-hell title aside, I think this is one of the finest comedies to come out of the 1960s. It's very much a film where you can tell that the only intention of the filmmakers was to make theaters choke on their popcorn with belly laughs.


The story is essentially a comical look at early attempts at powered flight through an international air race between a cast of the world's (fictional) pioneering airplane pilots by pitting them against each other in a race across the English Channel, from London to Paris. There's a love interest story involved in the film as well which could arguably be seen as the Film's main plot, but ultimately having watched this film through so many times, it's REALLY not what you want to watch the film for. What we're here to see is a cast of outlandish, but likable characters interacting, getting on each other's nerves and generally getting into a bunch of shenanigans with hilarious results.


Let's start with the characters. With this race being an international affair, the makers decided to portray each character as a stereotype from the country they're from... Yep. Don't let that scare you though, this laughs at EVERYONE, and it's all in good taste really, and used as a means to set up the comedy. Britain, America, France, Germany, Japan... All are made funny in their individual ways. For example, the French character is love-obsessed, the American is a cowboy from the wild west, The British is a prim and proper stiff-upper-lip type and my absolute favourites, the Germans are all in the army and strictly regimented.


From this, let me talk about what I think this film's strongest asset is: its casting. With most of the characters being made up of international stereotypes, they chose each actor for the role PERFECTLY. I'm serious. The best example I can give is the main German, played by Gert Frobe. He's bombastic, he's over the top and he's just perfect for the role he's been given. Best way I can show you is with this clip of his character at various points in the film...



I don't think I can really do this film justice through words... Seriously, if you're sick of the comedies coming out today, give this a look. It's refreshing, the humor is not only brilliant visually, but it's also amazingly written.


One last thing I'll also mention, because it's VERY cool. Dick Dastardly and Muttley owe their existence to this film.




The main antagonists in the film are 'Sir Percy Ware-Armitage' and his footman 'Courtney'. Sir Percy pretty much IS Dick Dastardly. He has the same moustache, the same devious attitude, and uses many of the same schemes as Dick did. And a lot of the comic payoffs on him are just as funny and satisfying too. His assistant Courtney is also VERY Muttley-like. He's bossed around by Sir Percy a lot, but will take what opportunities he can to laugh and get back at his master's expense.


So yeah... If you want to see the first ever 'Dick Dastardly and Muttley', watch this.

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Metropolis is on my to watch list on Netflix, mostly because I liked the cover and then thought it looked interesting. I'll also second Jez's suggestions because they're all good.
It's an English language French thriller starring Jean Reno as Leon and a young Natalie Portman as Mathilda, this was her film debut. It came out in 1994, so some of you may have missed it. I was talking about this at work and none of the younger guys knew what I was on about, so yeah. If you haven't watched it, do. I remember watching bits of it when I was a kid and I loved Leon's character, then I re-watched it when I was older and I still love him and Mathilda. It's one of my favourite films and when I re-watch it now, I can see how it influenced my taste in films, books, comics and my own creative works, which is pretty neat.

Professional assassin Leon reluctantly rescues Mathilda, a 12 year old girl after her family are murdered by a corrupt, drug dealing DEA agent. Her step-father had been storing drugs for the agent, but it was discovered that he had been stretching them a little. Mathilda, who was at the corner shop, survives and seeks shelter in Leon's apartment. She soon discovers what Leon does for a living and seeks his help in avenging her four year old brother. The two form an unusual friendship as she becomes his protege and Leon tries his best to keep Mathilda out of trouble. Leon realises that he can be more than just a professional 'cleaner' and will do anything for this little girl with almost nothing left to lose.


Trailer, warning though, it's very 90's:

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I've got one some of you might have never heard of! =D




This is Anne no Nikki, or The Diary of Anne Frank. It's an anime film. Now the fact it's an anime might turn you off at first but I can assure you it's a bloody great adaptation of Anne Frank's life, one of the best adaptations in fact! The animation is gorgeous to look at and doesn't look typically anime at all, no big eyes or anything like that, and the personality of each character is spot on. I know because I'm half Dutch and I've read the diary in its original language. =P The music is very beautiful too and makes me feel all emotional, especially near the inevitable end of the film.


I haven't seen Anne no Nikki for ages, but just talking about it really makes me want to again! It's touching, heartwarming and very sad at times, but it's a film I'd recommend to anyone. Even those who are not into anime should definitely give this a watch!

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That... is a lot of text. I love Treasure Planet, so I'm going to go ahead and just agree with Felix and say, go watch it!
I wanted to suggest another film. A Cat In Paris/Une vie de Chat. I just love the style, animation (it's hand-drawn) and warmth of A Cat in Paris. We saw it on a whim and were pleasantly surprised by how good it is, it's no wonder it was an Oscar nominee. I don't think it was widely shown anyway? It's also just 65 minutes long so it's hardly a slog to watch, but is long enough to feel whole.
In Paris, a cat who lives a secret life as a cat burglar's aide, must come to the rescue of Zoe, the young mute girl he lives with, after she falls into a gangster's clutches.
Dino is a cat that leads a double life. By day, he lives with Zoe, a little girl whose mother, Jeanne, is a police officer. By night, he works with Nico, a burglar with a big heart. Zoe has plunged herself into silence following her father's murder at the hands of gangster Costa. One day, Dino the cat brings Zoe a very valuable bracelet. Lucas, Jeanne's second-in-command, notices this bracelet is part of a jewellery collection that has been stolen. One night, Zoe decides to follow Dino. On the way, she overhears some gangsters and discovers that her nanny is part of the gangsters' team.

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Jacob's Ladder is a psychological horror film released in 1990. It's probably the best movie I've seen come out of the horror genre. Unfortunately, not a lot of people are aware of it's existence despite the fact that it served as a big inspiration for the Silent Hill franchise. In fact, the games directly reference Jacob's Ladder in several installments. 


Jacob's Ladder stars Tim Robbins (Shawshank Redemption) as the eponymous Jacob Singer. Jacob is a Vietnam War veteran who returns to New York City in the early 1970s only to find that demons have now begun to haunt his waking life. These demonic hallucinations haunt Jacob with images of war and memories regarding the death of his son. Desperate for answers, Jacob seeks out his comrades from the army who all share these same hallucinations. Unfortunately for Jacob, the mystery deepens as the ordeal worsens as the nightmares assert themselves with even more ferocity. 


It's a very atmospheric film, to say the least. Despite being filled to the brim with high-octane nightmare fuel, the movie does so happen to have an esoteric happy ending. It's also has a twist ending, so I won't spoil any of that for you.


If you want that ending spoiled for you then you can Phelous explain why it's one of his favorite movies:



Here's the trailer for anyone who's interested:




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  • 3 weeks later...

Time to bump this thread to talk about a movie that I've had a huge appreciation for ever since I've watched it last year during a marathon, and I've gotten to watching it more these past few weeks. This film, I shall talk about is this beautiful and criminally underrated film from Studio Ghibli.




My Neighbors the Yamadas. You have probably literally have never ever heard of this film, it's even forgotten by what people claim themselves to be the biggest of Ghibli devotees. That is a damn shame, because this has got to be one of my favorite films to come from the studio, and it excels as a technical achievement, a slice-of-life comedy, and another great addition to the lineup of one of the, if not the greatest animation studio out there.


The film was directed by Isao Takahata, if you could guess from the image above. Some of you might know him as the director of the heart-achingly sad Grave of the Fireflies (and the director of other highly overlooked and rather excellent Ghibli films such as Only Yesterday and Pom Poko). Compared to Hayao Miyazaki and other directors at the studio, Takahata has always been more experimental in terms of his directing style and what kind of films he makes, and this is what I consider to be the most successful of his experiments. That doesn't necessarily mean it's the best of his films, but it's definitely has yet to be outclassed in terms of sheer creativity and beauty visually, and in some cases, thematically.


But enough with that, let me talk about what's the most wonderful thing about this film to me: the art direction. This film is based off the wildly popular Japanese newspaper comic strip, Nono-chan by Hisaichi Ishii. The style and overall look of itself is a huge deviation from the look of Ghibli's usual output, it looks like something you'd see out of Peanuts rather than a Studio Ghibli film. It retains the same crude, but still simple and appealing look of the comic strip the film is based on, and that's what the film exactly is, a feature-length comic book. With that said, the film looks absolutely gorgeous with its use a of a marvelous watercolor style. You wanna know a fun fact? These kind of visuals couldn't be accomplished using traditional animation, so Ghibli had to resort for the first time ever to completely using computers for the animation process. That's right, this is Ghibli's first all-digital film, completely sketched and painted digitally. I'm gonna reiterate, but damn it looks beautiful. Let me share the love with y'all:






















See the framerate right there? So, sooo smooth. Even though the gifs I posted indicated this film is packed with wacky escapades such as this, the film is actually more grounded in reality, centering around the day-to-day goings of the Yamada family. These are just fantasy sequences in the first 20 minutes about the mother and father's marriage. There are more trippy sequences such as this that are littered throughout the film, and they're a pure delight. Even during the majority of the film that isn't dream-centered, the animation is actually pretty darn fluid. The story of the film, instead of being one linear narrative, is separated into different segments (think like The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh), which tell different stories about what the Yamadas or certain members of the family do during that day. They can be longer and tell more of a story, or be shorter in order to provide a comic punch.


The movie as I said, is more realistic than fantasy-ish than most of Ghibli's other stuff, if you've lived with your family as a kid, you will definitely relate to what hijinks goes on between the Yamadas. Another thing, the movie is absolutely hilarious, the tears Takahata made you have while watching Grave of the Fireflies is the same equivalent as to the laughs and probable cheek-to-cheek grin this movie will bring you. There's some seriously brilliant comedic moments, but you gotta watch the movie to see for yourself. The film being 105 minutes long may be a bit for you to bear (and I somewhat agree it could've been a bit shorter), it's otherwise a wonderful journey from beginning to end.


The music department, a usual for Ghibli, also does not disappoint. Akiko Yano's songs and score are wonderful, fitting with the warm and chipper atmosphere the film has. Listen to some of the soundtrack samples, your ears will appreciate it, for real:



And the ending song is in my opinion one of the most beautiful ending songs to a Ghibli film, especially if you know the English lyrics:



The film was released in the summer of 1999 in Japan, having gone overtime and overbudget. Unfortunately, it was dead on arrival, and is still seen as Ghibli's biggest financial disaster. It completely bombed at the Japanese box office against Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and the first Pokemon film, a quintessential example of a wonderful film that came out at the wrong time. Many people also felt alienated by the art style being such a huge departure from Ghibli's usual visual look, despite the popularity of the comic strip the film is based off of, and Takahata's films have never really done the same robust business as Hayao Miyazaki's works commerically (especially considering Princess Mononoke was released two years before this, and became the highest grossing film in Japanese history until Spirited Away would beat it in 2001). It's also the reason Takahata would not direct another film for Ghibli for fourteen years until 2013, when The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which utilizes the same watercolor painting style as this film, also ended up doing terribly in theaters despite the critical acclaim it received.


Point is, go see this movie. Like, right now. It's so unjustly overlooked, and honestly deserves more attention and love like the majority of Studio Ghibli's films. It's funny, heartwarming, visually gorgeous and even nostalgic for those who were very involved with their family during their childhood years. The opening sequences and the ending easily rank among some of Ghibli's greatest triumphs.

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The Man on the Train is a French film released about eleven years ago about two men of widely different backgrounds who cross paths one day and strike a brief friendship. One is a professional bank robber who is tired of the life he leads and wants to settle down in a peaceful life, while the other is an aging, rich man who dreams of living a free, on-the-edge lifestyle.

It's a slow movie with a poignant tone, so if you're expecting a fancy choreographed heist sequence or a lot of violence, you're going to be disappointed. There's barely a plot to speak of; it's really almost all about these two people who yearn for each other's lives, yet at the same time respect each other for it. Envy is a two-way street, and you never know if there's anyone in your life who feels the same toward you as you do toward others.

It got a stellar review from Roger Ebert and I have seen it two or three times myself; it's a movie that's highly worth checking out if you're in the mood for something that's almost pure slice-of-life.

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I'm going to label this as a 'movie you've probably never heard of', but it's up to you whether you think it's great (and can stomach it).




Felidae, a 1994 film based on a book of the same name is a pretty violent murder mystery based around a tomcat named Francis. Despite it being animated it is NOT suitable for the easily traumatised (or if you love cats) but I really do think this film has some character to it. It's been dubbed into German and English with its English dub not being too bad (although Francis sounds meh), it can be found on youtube.


It really is rather realistic with a lot of the deaths, it's not afraid to show them either (and even some umm...cats getting it on briefly). I'm not linking the film due to the reasons that it's pretty violent and if you're interested you can find it yourself.


The thing that stood out the most for me? The environments and realism about it. The cats do follow scent to find each other, there's a cult, pretty cruel but not too far off from the truth laboratory animal testing scenes, the main character isn't perfect, features terrifying nightmare scenes and, of course, the gruesome murder scenes.


It's one of those films to see if you're intrigued by the more violent animated world. It's not violent for the sake of being violent, but rather sticks to the book pretty well.


It intrigues me as one of those films much like Watership Down.

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This thread is great, either it's films I can Smugly nod my head at and acknowledge I know (Metropolis, My Neighbours the Yamadas, Leon - though...seriously, who hasn't seen Leon? If you haven't, shame on you) or films I definitely need to check out.


Anyway, here's one from me.



Bad Boy Bubby is an Austrailian film about Bubby, a 30 year old man who has lived inside his one room appartment with his sexually abusive mother his whole life, never setting foot outside the front door. As a result, Bubby is very mentally stunted, with the mind of a child.


One day, Bubby's father returns and starts a chain of events which lead to Bubby moving out into the real world.


What makes the film so brilliant is how intelligently put together it is. As Bubby moves through the outside world, each scene has a different Cinematographer giving each scene a unique look which allows the viewer to rediscover the world as Bubby discovers it for himself.

Also, througout the film, Bubby has no dialogue of his own. All of his lines are Bubby quoting phrases used by other characters talking to him. Meaning that, if the world is kind to Bubby, he'll be kind too, if it's cruel to him, he'll be cruel. He's so tragically innocent and it's hard as a viewer to watch him be molded by the world around him.


But none of that would matter if the film weren't also entertaining and it definitly is. Equal parts, funny, violent, sweet and horrible to watch. It's occasionally difficult viewing, but it's a wonderful film that deserves much more recognition than it ever gets.





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I do have to ask- Felix, I'd never say anything from Ghibli or Disney counts as "You've probably never heard of" :V
Anyways, here's two films I enjoyed a couple years ago.


East Is East is a 1999 British comedy-drama film written by Ayub Khan-Din and directed by Damien O'Donnell. It is set in Salford, Greater Manchester in 1971, in a mixed-ethnicity British household headed by Pakistani father George (Om Puri) and an English mother, Ella (Linda Bassett). George expects his family to follow Pakistani ways, but his children, who were born and grew up in Britain, increasingly see themselves as British and reject Pakistani customs of dress, food, religion, and living in general, leading to a rise in tensions and conflicts in the whole family.

L'Auberge Espagnole is a 2002 French-Spanish film directed and written by Cédric Klapisch. It is a co-production between Spain (Mate Producciones S.A., Via Digital) and France (BAC Films, Ce qui me meut, France 2 Cinéma, Studio Canal).

It is about Xavier (Romain Duris), an economics graduate student studying for a year in Barcelona, Spain as part of the Erasmus programme, where he encounters and learns from a group of students who hail from all over Western Europe. It is part of a trilogy of films centered around the character of Xavier and his progression from student to family man and friends he initially encounters in a student share-house in Spain.

The film's portrayal is in the first-person perspective of the main character, Xavier, and is hence mainly narrated in French. Some of the dialogue is in English and a significant amount is in Spanish, as well as small amounts in Catalan, Basque, Danish, German and Italian.



This last one also had a great sequel named Russian Dolls that, however, is not as entertaining without getting to know the characters first on this one; And a recent sequel named Chinese Puzzle that I can speak nothing about as I haven't seen it yet.


EDIT: Oh what the hell, two more.


Goodbye, Lenin! I wouldn't consider properly an unheard-of film, but it might be in the anglo-saxonic-american cultural context of this forum.



Alex' mother loves her country of East Germany and it's Communist Party.


Alex' mother was in a coma for eight months.


During those eight months, the Berlin Wall fell. Now Alex forcibly sets up a farce at his apartment to pretend the Germanies are still divided and nothing happened, not wanting to upset his mother.



This one isn't quite unheard of, it's more the kind of film where people don't usually know about it, until you start studying cinema a bit and suddenly everyone knows about it.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Yes, I am unceremoniously bumping this topic once again. I've been wanting to talk about another film in here for quite a long time now, so it's time for us to... rev our engines must I say. B-but, it's not hinting towards anything! I SWEAR! But now, it's time for us to go talk about a certain someone who's a demon on wheels...



Yes, my good companions. Here we are, with the film Speed Racer. As your eyes could most likely process from the poster that is above these sentences, it was directed (and too written) by the creators of the Matrix trilogy, the Wachowski siblings (formerly known as The Wachowski Brothers, but one of the brothers Larry became Lana after this film came out, and the rest is history). I'm gonna try to keep this shorter than my other posts, so to save your time and patience, lemme get this right off the bat: I just don't like this movie. I fucking LOVE this movie. It's one of my favorite movies of all time, and what I consider to be the Wachowskis' magnum opus (yes, even over The Matrix). In fashion of my other posts in here, I'm gonna elaborate on different parts of the film, and further on as to why you should go see this film as soon as humanly possible.

This film is based of a 1960s anime by the same name, Speed Racer (or Mach GoGoGo, if you care that much to go by the Japanese title), and stays true to it in every conceivable way. The characters' names, mannerisms and appearances even, the way the cars look (although the tracks and designs of the cars themselves are somewhat mdoernized, but it still looks appealing nonetheless), the somewhat corny moments and over-the-top car races, everything you could name. This isn't just a live-action adaptation of an anime, it is a live-action anime. The film clocks in at two hours and fifteen minutes, they can either fly by for you, or just drag on endlessly. I do agree they could've cut off a lot of the fat for a running time of about 1 hour and 45 minutes at longest, but the film is nonetheless a fun as hell, highly visceral thrill ride from beginning to end.

The greatest element of Speed Racer is its art direction and visuals, which are best fleshed out in the absolutely fantastic racing sequences. Not since Dick Tracy has a film made use of such a saturated and wonderfully overt color palette, and it is so face-meltingly awesome. The visuals aren't just face-meltingly awesome, they are flat out mind-blowing. For real, this film has some of the best art direction I've seen in a film. There is no other perfect term to describe Speed Racer's visuals other than eye candy, just as brightly colored, and just as sweet to devour. Hell, it may even prove a little too overwhelming for some in terms of the glorious visual and sensory overload you might experience while watching it, but it's a glorious visual experience from beginning to end. I'm not kidding, in the beginning all the studio logos are slathered in kaleidoscopic colors, and the ending credits probably have some the honors of being one of the few credits I bothered sitting through for the entire thing because of how appealing it looked. Oh yeah, did I mention that the racing sequences are incredible? They're heart-pumping, and the sense of speed and thrill is perfectly conveyed, racing has never been portrayed as outright balls-to-the-walls crazy as it is here in this movie. Just witness the pure visual mastery put on display here.

WARNING: If you're epileptic, I'd advise you to not look at these gifs. Or watch this movie as a matter of fact, this film is pretty much an epileptic's death wish.








Yeah, I've probably proven my point by now. Just imagine this in IMAX 3D, it would kill a man.

With all of my praise towards the highly inventive kinetic visuals the film has to offer throughout, you'd be wondering at this point if I was ever gonna talk about the story. This isn't just a film about a guy who gets into a car and races for money and fame. It's a story of family standing united against corruption, it's a coming of age story for Speed, who's held onto all he's ever known ever since he was a child: racing. He has to come to terms with the inner workings of the industry, and how ass-backwards highly regarded people in the world can be behind closed doors. The best part of the whole thing is that there's not an ounce of cynicism in it. The family dynamics feel sincere and the whole film has this childlike charm to all of it. Everybody in the cast was perfect for playing their characters, I shall note John Goodman as Pops Racer, Matthew Fox as Racer X and especially Roger Allam as Arnold Royalton, the film's main antagonist. He gives such a terrifically over-the-top performance (perfectly in line with the show's spirit), and makes for a perfect love to hate villain because of how much a true bastard he can be. If you're involved with the characters, you'll definitely have a few heartstrings tugged during a few emotional scenes between Speed and his parents.

During the beginning, they effectively interweaved three separate narratives in the span of 20 minutes, immersing us in the world we were thrown in, and connecting us with the characters. That on its own is very damn impressive. The ending race as I mentioned in a post not in this topic, is one of the best climaxes I've seen in any film. I shall not spoil anything for those that have yet to see the movie, but again, if you're invested with Speed or his family in any way, you will be crying tears of joy or at the very least have your spirit lifted as you witness one of the plain most triumphant and satisfying endings to a film. Each of the characters are likable and developed to a decent degree, all having their own distinct personalities that you'll come to love. The only characters you'll probably dread are Spritle and Chim-Chim, Speed's little brother and the family's pet chimpanzee. They serve as the comic relief, and to some annoyance break the tension in some scenes integral to the plot. They're pretty in line with how they're portrayed in the anime, but they hurt this movie more than help it. They get the least screentime compared to everyone else, so that's somewhat a plus. Still, their presence could have been easily downplayed.

The music for this film was done by at this point rising star composer Michael Giacchino (who's done scores for films such as The Incredibles, Up, the J.J. Abrams Star Trek films, Ratatouille, Up and Super 8, along with the TV show Lost), and it is pure, unadulterated AWESOME. I am not kidding here, I think this is one of Giacchino's best scores, the music perfectly fits the mood of whatever scene it accompanies, and it perfectly blends Giacchino's usual musical style with motifs and themes from the original '60s Speed Racer anime. The end credits theme is especially worth a mention in this case:

Honestly, the whole soundtrack is worth a buy, it's absolutely wonderful.

As with other films I mentioned here, this film was sadly both a failure with critics and at the box office when it was released, and a pretty darn huge one at that. Warner Bros. used a total of $200 million to produce and promote Speed Racer, but sadly their dreams of it being a big summer blockbuster hit with families never came to be, as it only grossed a measly $93 million worldwide. Most were turned off my the trailers playing this off as a more serious action movie with eye-popping visuals even though it looked way too silly and childish for adults, and way too questionable and violent for children. It suffered from competition with Iron Man which had been released the week before, and would be subsequently buried by Narnia: Prince Caspian along with Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in the coming weeks. Reports of animal cruelty on set did not help the film's publicity, either.

I strongly feel like this was unfairly panned, many reviewers failed to truly understand that the Wachowskis succeeded exactly in what they were trying to do: make an adaptation keeping the same spirit as the source material and staying close to it as possible. One could ask why the Wachowskis couldn't have just made an adaptation changing a few things to make it more viable and appealing to general moviegoing audiences, but that's the good thing: they didn't. They stuck to their guns, and in terms of this being an adaptation, this was the best film it could've been. Was it perfect? No. Could it have been shorter? Yes. Could Spritle and Chim-Chim be drastically played down? Very much so. Is it flawless in the aspect of setting out to do what it wanted to do? Hell yes.

Point is, go see this film. You'll have one hell of a time, no acid required. This is as uplifting, sincere, and unapologetic of a film as they come. I am still beating myself up for skipping this while it was out in theaters and avoiding the film for years because of the awful reviews, because I missed out on a truly mind-blowing thrill ride. Only if I could go back to 2008 and see it in IMAX.

Also, you might wanna read this thread, and Film Crit Hulk's article on it. They could say more about this film better than I ever could.

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  • 1 year later...



HOLY FUCKING SHIT! You guys NEED to see this movie!

Ok so obviously this movie kind of just came out but since I'm a hardcore fan of the actor of this movie, I managed to get tickets ON THE FIRST SHOWING OF THE FIRST DAY! It's the first time I've ever done that, might do it again (probably for the Sonic movie even).

Theri is an action thriller entertainer (some romance, drama, sentiments and a WHOLE PACK OF WHOOPASS action BOY!). But anyway, I loved this movie and I'll give ya guys a quick skimmy on what it's all about. But first, a history lesson.

So it all started when the teaser for the movie came out on Feb 4.


Long story short, this teaser pretty much got everyone on board for wanting to watch the movie. I was excited to see it since it's a great teaser, it didn't gave out huge plotlines but you can still try to piece together and guess what the movie would be about? I guess it helps that the teaser broke a lot of records in South Indian cinema, right now the teaser reached 10 MILLION views and it's close to reaching 300K likes! For a teaser that's barely 3 months old, that's kind of amazing in my opinion. And what's also amazing is that these views were reached in a YouTube channel that has about 70K subs, it's the producer's channel but the Theri team had confidence with the fans that they'll make this teaser spread like wildfire! And wildfire, it has spread!

Well if the teaser was such a huge hit, bet the actual trailer would do just as well!


And you know what? IT'S EVEN BETTER! It's almost a month old and it's at 8 MILLION VIEWS AND NEARLY 230K Likes! This is probably one of my favorite trailers I've seen so far and trust me, I've seen a lot of trailers for Tamil movies but this is one is definitely one of the best! It shows off the cast more and gives some plotlines away but doesn't give away too much that it spoils the movie (Batman v Superman, take notes mate!).

And now here I am, just about an hour ago, I just watched this movie being one of the first people to see it in Ontario I guess. And as I said, I loved it!

Ok, so small plot synopsis. 

The movie starts with a man and his daughter. The man's name is Joseph Kuruvilla (played by my favorite Tamil actor, Joseph Vijay Chandrashekar) and his daughter's name is Navi (played by Nainika. They live a simple life together, Joseph works at a bakery with a friend (played by Mottai, Tamil for Bald, Rajendran) and things were fine until Joseph meets Navi's teacher, Annie (played by Amy Jackson), they interact and eventually they fall for one another. But is Joseph really his real name? And what happened to Navi's mom? Watch the movie and find out fam!

Man, I don't know where to start well I guess I could start with the music but I've made my own personal review on the music here. But if you must know, I really liked the music especially seeing how well choreographed the dances were, how amazing and colorful the sets for the video songs are and of course, the cinematography is TOP NOTCH! Heck, in the song Jithu Jilladi; there's a uninterrupted 40 second dance sequence and it happens at the end of the song, it was amazing!

But really, the shots in this movie are amazing! The cinematographer, George C. Williams, has done it yet again. This isn't his first time rolling the camera for a Vijay movie, he done so for 2014's Kaththi (which used to be my TOP FAVORITE Vijay movie, guess who stole that spot?). The director for this movie is actually a pretty new director, Atlee is his name. His first movie was 2013's Raja Rani, a great romance movie IMO, and guess who also made their debut there? Yep, it's George's as well! And speaking of Raja Rani, Atlee's crew for that movie also came for Theri as well, small trivia for ya. Also another small fact, Atless was an assitant director to Director Shankar, who made one of the highest grossing Tamil movies of all time! He also assisted in directing a movie with Vijay with Shankar as well, so it wasn't the first time the two met. Also there was two things I really liked about the movie, its dialogue and pace. The dialogue was perfect for the characters, some lines had the right amount of personality and impact needed for a movie like this. Also I was pretty impressed on how fast the pacing was in first half of the movie, none of the scenes felt like like it was going too long so each scene were given a reasonable amount of time given while still keeping the movie going, which I really liked. The second half might've slowed down a bit but with so many twists and turns, you probably won't even notice it that much.

But enough of that, a big reason why this movie was great was obviously the acting! I mean, you could have a great story, music and camerawork but if your movie won't be great if the actors didn't gave it their all! And boy, did the cast gave a solid performance! First off, Vijay is at his best here! Providing a different feel for each scene, one scene you'll see him being a total badass, kicking ass with a snarky look in his face. Another scene, you see him more quiet and tame while being more quirky as well. And another scene, you could see him bawling his eyes out and mourn. Just damn man, Vijay was perfect in this movie! Nainika made her debut as a child actor, here's a funny thing her mom, Meena, started acting as a kid as well with the ever amazing Super Star Rajinikanth, who shares a birthday with a certain mod here, and was the main actor for that one movie Shankar made that made a lot of dough! But yeah Nainika, she's absolutely adorable in this movie, her interactions with Vijay were funny and quite heartwarming as well! The chemistry between the two was great! As for the actresses, they were two; Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Amy Jackson. Samantha costarred with Vijay in Kaththi and tbh, she was just kinda there in that movie but in Theri, she was great! Her character was a more mature character but she has her quirky personality that makes her very likable as well! Jackson's character was also nice but she didn't get as much screentime as Samantha in the movie but she did her role justice as well! The villain for this movie is a well-known director who has directed a lot of Tamil movies in the 80s and this was his first time actually acting in a movie, Mahendran made a fantastic debut in this movie. His calm nature can be both comforting yet also disturbing as well, think Sans if he was a bad guy (yeah, you don't wanna fuck with an evil Sans). The supporting characters were really good as well, Rajendran was a really good comedian in the movie, veteran actors Radhika and Prabhu also did their roles very well as well!

And with that said, Theri is now my NEW TOP FAVORITE Vijay movie of all time! And is probably one of the best Tamil movies I've seen this year! I've only seen like 3 other movies that can go onto that list and we're just 4 months into the year so who knows what other Tamil movies can blow my mind!

Again, I highly recommend you guys to watch this movie! It's a great action movie that can make you tense, happy, sad and emotional throughout! I really appreciate it you guys reading this! Until then.

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It's a bit hard to believe that the first feature-length superhero film ever created would be obscure, and yet it is. Yup, Superman and the Mole Men (1951) doesn't even have a TV Tropes page, and the Wikipedia article on "Superhero film" didn't even mention it until I personally added that bit of information. Yeah, apparently I get all of my information about whether or not a movie is obscure based on wiki's, but the fact remains that few people seem to know or care about this movie. A lot of that may have to do with the fact that, while it technically qualifies as the first "superhero film", it didn't do a thing to establish the genre as we know it today; it's only a superhero film because, obviously, it stars a superhero. We all probably already know that it wouldn't be until the Christopher Reeve Superman movie in 1978 that superhero movies would even begin to become what they are today.

So, if it wasn't a superhero film in the modern sense, what was it? In terms of its purpose, it was a "trial balloon" for the 1950s series The Adventures of Superman, starring the same actors; if the TV show didn't take off, profits from the movie would keep it from being too much of a loss. In terms of its genre, it's definitely more of a science fiction B-movie than anything else. So if you can't take lame special effects and stuff like that, you may want to stay away from this one. But honestly, I actually think there's a lot to love about this movie.

Of course, there's the fact that, in my personal opinion, George Reeves (Clark Kent/Superman) and Phyllis Coates (Lois Lane) are the best actors to have ever played their respective characters. In George Reeves' hands, Superman truly comes to life and feels more like an actual person than he almost ever does, while also feeling so very "super". His Clark Kent was truly unique, retaining much more of the qualities he exhibited as Superman and coming across as very respectable in and of himself, a take on the alter ego which wouldn't reappear for decades. While I usually love the "wimpy" Clark too, I think that Reeves' compelling portrayal of the "mild-mannered reporter" works extremely well and enables me to admire Superman on a level I wouldn't be able to otherwise. In both identities, he's obviously very good-hearted but also has a lot of strength, presence, and intensity; he gets genuinely emotionally invested with those around him as opposed to being some godlike, distant figure. Just enough, but not too much, of Superman's Golden Age persona seems to abide in him. Phyllis Coates is feisty, brave, and just pure Lois Lane through and through. She oftentimes challenges Clark Kent, very fitting to her character, but doesn't go too overboard with it.

Aside from that, much of what's special about this film comes from the fact that it's not a typical superhero film. The stakes are much smaller, for one thing. Lois and Clark go to a small town to report on the "exciting" story of the deepest oil well in the world, only to find out that some (completely non-)terrifying creatures have emerged from underground and are scaring everyone - plus, they may even be radioactive! Doesn't sound exciting yet? Well...to be honest, there are times when it gets a bit dull thanks to some poor pacing here and there. But it's not enough of a drag to ruin the movie or anything. In addition to the fact that the stakes are smaller, what's being fought for is actually much different...and that's what, I think, truly makes this movie interesting The movie isn't about saving humans from the evil mole men. The mole men aren't evil at all! The real problem that Superman has to fight is the xenophobia of the townsfolk. Imagine that - a superhero movie in which the problem that the hero has to solve isn't a supervillain, it's ordinary people's hatred of people who are different. And in the friggin' 1950s, no less! Am I the only one who thinks it's kind of awesome for a superhero to take on a problem that exists in the real world (which isn't made fundamentally different despite the fantastic twist) instead of some supervillain completely disconnected from reality?

I don't know. I wouldn't say it's the kind of movie for everybody, but personally I think it's something special. For what it is, it's actually rather well-done, in my opinion. At only an hour long, it's not a significant time investment either, so if you're curious, I'd give it a try.

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