Friday, October 1, 2010

4 Pretty Cool, Lesser Known Movies

If you haven't seen this, then see immediately.
So, everybody has seen or at least heard of the classics: The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, Schindler's List, Fight Club, yada yada. These movies have already been discussed ad nauseam by others who are much more qualified than myself (I am by no means a movie buff). What I want to talk about are a couple of movies I've seen recently that, despite containing high dosages of awesomeness, generally seem to have managed to fly under the radar of the general public. Sure, they may contain a number of flaws or may lack the polish of the aforementioned classics (hence their relative unpopularity), but in my humble opinion each is worthy of an hour or so of anybody's time.

1. The Machinist
Everyone knows what a cool guy Christian Bale is from movies like The Dark Knight, Terminator Salvation, American Psycho, etc. But his greatness as an actor certainly also shines through in this lesser known film that is basically all about a machinist who goes insane. Sure, there are elements of suspense and themes of revenge and repentance, not to mention Fight Club-esque plot twists, but the real reason to see this movie is Bale's convincing emulation of complete and utter batshit insanity (i.e., definitely see this if you're a psychiatrist).

Finally, an effective solution to America's obesity epidemic
If you previously had any doubts about Bale's dedication to his job as an actor, they will be completely erased due to visual proof to the contrary; in preparation for the role, Bale lost 62 lbs over four months to settle at 120 lbs (he is 6'2 in height). Essentially, on screen he looks like a walking skeleton to whom you feel urged to offer a loaf of bread, or at least a pack of twizzlers. According to him, he achieved this weight loss feat by eating only an apple or a can of tuna a day, every day.

I see tremendous marketing potential for a new diet fad: the Tuna and Apples Diet, heartily endorsed by Christian Bale, guaranteed to give you that Auschwitz-survivor physique you've always dreamed of!

Afterwards, Bale regained all the weight he lost and added 40 more lbs of rock-hard muscle in preparation for his role as the goddamn Batman. Remember the intense level of preparation that the actors in 300 underwent to attain their sinewy, ripped bodies? Well, Bale makes them all look like scrawny, daffodil-picking pansies. Let's face the facts: this man is a badass.

2. True Romance
Man, Christian Slater looks
like a douche
Everybody nowadays is familiar with Quentin Tarantino's work; Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, etc, are all amazing movies. But not many people seem to know about this gem that was written by Tarantino. If you like the movies I just named, then you should probably see True Romance, because it has everything you would expect: awesomely gratuitous violence, gratuitously awesome shootouts, and very memorable dialogue. In addition, many big-name actors appear, many of whom were within the incipience of their stardom at the time: Christian Slater, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, James Gandolfini (Tony from The Sopranos), Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, and Samuel L. Jackson, to name a few! Sweet jeebus, I'm clueless as to why this movie isn't more popular.

Okay, maybe it isn't more popular than it is for one important reason: the plot sucks! That's why I haven't bothered to describe it, lest it turn you away. The romantic bits are especially vomit-inducing, which basically means the first 10-15 minutes of the movie are mediocre at best. After this period, however, there are many particularly awesome scenes of action and dialogue, which I suppose is a given for just about any Tarantino-influenced production. One scene in particular, featuring Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper, strikes me as perhaps one of the most memorable scenes of dialogue in all of cinema (this is not an exaggeration!).

Does he look like a b -- oops, wrong movie

3. Oldboy
First off, if you haven't already seen this one, I will warn you that it is not a family-friendly movie, and I mean that in the most literal way possible - pretty much, don't watch Oldboy with members of your immediate family unless you are prepared for particularly uncomfortable moments.

Hammer: apply directly to the forehead

With that out of the way, let me tell you about how great of a movie this is! If it inspired the Virginia Tech shooter to go on his killing rampage, then you know it has to be filled with ultra-violent awesomeness (damn, I'm so insensitive). In summary: A Japanese man named Oh Dae-Su is kidnapped and locked inside a nondescript hotel room, with a television being his only connection to the outside world, for 15 years without having the slightest idea of who his captor is or what his motives are. Food is slid underneath his door and occasionally he is gassed into unconsciousness so that his captors may trim his hair and nails. Man, if only modern hotels were so accommodating (Days Inn, Best Western: take notes!). When he is finally released he embarks on a mission to discover the identity of his captor and inflict revenge of the gruesomest degree, using an attractive young girl as his sidekick. So, if you enjoy revenge-themed movies, then you will probably absolutely love this one.

4. Koyaanisqatsi
Cool movie bro
This last one deviates a bit in style from the previously listed movies. Notably, it has no obvious plot, no cast of actors, no dialogue, no narration, and nothing in the way of special effects (unless you consider slow-motion and time-lapse photography to be particularly special). It simply juxtaposes images with music to explore its themes and convey its messages. To give you an idea of what themes may be present in this film, the word Koyaanisqatsi (taken from some obscure, antiquated and irrelevant language spoken by an obscure, antiquated and irrelevant people) translates roughly to "life in turmoil, life out of balance, or life disintegrating." Sounds peachy! Really, no further description will do the movie any justice; if what I've said about it already is at all intriguing, then you should watch it, if only for the fact that there is no other movie quite like it, and it is potentially an edifying experience. Just allow it your patience and you'll be rewarded.


If you do end up watching Koyaanisqatsi because of my recommendation (if you haven't already seen it), and you absolutely hate it, then...uh...my bad lolz.


Feel free to discuss/add to this list in the comments!

60 comments:

  1. I've only seen Oldboy but if the rest are as mindblowingly awesome as it was then I will be forced to watch the rest.

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  2. I have only seen oldboy too, will watch the rest as soon as possible!!

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  3. I definitely am interested in Koyaanisqatsi. It sounds quite enlightening.

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  4. +9000 to the machinist, is a wicked wicked movie, a definite MUST SEE

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  5. I've actually been trying to remember the name of Koyaanisqatsi for the longest time, then I found this. So glad I found this.

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  6. Wow, I'll have to go and check out the machinist for sure.

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  7. thanks for all the work you put into this post

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  8. ill have to put these on the to watch list!

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  9. Oldboy, and the rest of the vengeance trilogy are some of my favourite films.

    The machinist is ballza, I love christian bale.

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  10. Oh god, now i gotta torrent Pulp Fiction all over again. I nostalgia'd.. I lost.

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  11. I agree, the machinist was pretty badass.

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  12. Wow, I remember the machinist and how bad Bale looked with that weight loss.

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  13. Saw one of them, but thanks, you finally got me to go watch the machinist, which I will go watch now on netflix.

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  14. I've heard alot about Old Boys but never saw it, Maybe i should

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  15. I'm not a dancer, but I'll keep this in mind

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  16. You've gotten more followers since the last time I visited!

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  17. OldBoy is an awesome movie, I saw it right when we were taking off in the space shuttle, once we got outside of orbit we put it in and just watched it all 5 of us, we finished our dehydrated ice cream all that day.

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  18. all are good except the machinist. that one kinda bored me. if i remember right the last one has music all done by phillip glass.

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  19. All excellent films. But if you have to pick only one of them to see then I say watch Oldboy. That hammer sequence in the screenshot is one of the greatest single take scenes of all time.

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  20. Hmm. Oldboy was pretty good, like the guy before me said. I'll have to check out the rest.

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  21. That fool needs to eat a sandwhich

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  22. These all looks sweet! (except the last one) definitely gotta watch some of these

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  23. i agree with the machinist and true romance, i've yet to see oldboy, i have a copy of it.. just cant seem to get into the mood to watch it. and #4 i dunno wtf that is, never heard of it. cheers.

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  24. im glad you put the machinist up there. its one of my favorite movies! and oldboy...well, that is just one effed up film...lol

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  25. Seen Oldboy, bit of a laugh, recommend ;) haha

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  26. All these movies are now on my soon to watch list.

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  27. seen the machinist gonna move throuhg the rest of the list though

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  28. I'll have to check out the Machinist!

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  29. The title and the first image threw me off haha. Then I actually read the post and yeah, now I know what I'm doing the rest of the weekend.

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  30. hey, this is one of my more favorite posts from you :)

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  31. Damn I love your blog and I'm ready for more posts from you immediately =D

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  32. Oldboy and The Machinist are very, very good movies..

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  33. Great post!

    looking forward to reading the next one

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  34. I love the Machinist and Oldboy. It's been too long since I've seen both unfortunately, but I guess that just means I can rewatch them :)

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  35. I agree with true romance, shits good

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  36. ive seen the first, but christian slater is a horrible actor.

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  37. I've only seen the first one. Total mindfuck of a movie. Really good though. I will look at the rest of those and try and watch em if I can.

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  38. Very informative post, I've only seen The Machinist and it's one of Christian Bale's best. Have you seen The Prestige with him too?

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  39. the machinist was the movie that made me like christian bale, also liked him in equilibrium

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  40. Sweet! I will have to netflix these! Thanks!

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  41. Christian Bale is awesome, but that diet he went on for The Machinist is just not healthy

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  42. oldboy blew my mind..great film everyone should see it

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  43. The Machinist is a great cult flick!

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  44. I've never seen any of these tbh, but I might have to now.

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  45. familiar with all of them except Koyaanisqatsi. If you hold it in the same regards as Oldboy, Tue Romance and The Machinist than I definitely need to check it out.

    Christopher Walken/Dennnis Hopper's Italian nigger scene True Romance was hilarious btw.

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  46. definately gona check out The Machinist, bale is the shit!

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  47. Great info, adding to my netflix queue now.

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