Ten Movies Worth Watching (That You Probably Don’t Know Exist) Part 2

Good evening to all you movie watchers! The list of low-notoriety film gems continues below.

 

6. Silence (2016) (R)

Genre: History, Drama

Directed By: Martin Scorsese

:DISCLAIMER: If you hold belief in God then you will hate this movie

Silence

Ah, Silence. I extend my sincerest thanks to you for having the balls to portray a controversial and true account of religious history (Apologies, I drooled on the keyboard a bit). I will admit that I began watching this movie with the lowest possible expectations, and good golly miss Mary Mother of Jesus was I pleasantly surprised. The pacing of the film (God awful slow at the beginning) is the only complaint I have for this raw, unyielding portrayal of the ban of Catholicism under the Tokugawa shogunate and the effects on the priests who ignored it. It is notoriously difficult to convey subtle emotions such as doubt or contemplation realistically in movie format, and I am pleased to report that this film is a prime example of first rate direction and acting. The underlying theme of a crisis of faith is powerfully delivered, and the characters portrayed come across as intensely human and relate-able. There is a calm and somewhat morbid beauty in much of the film’s respectably long run-time, and dull shades of gray and black give way effortlessly to vibrant, nearly neon hues. Confidence booster this movie is not, but if you are game for a subtle, intellectual, and entirely unbiased view of religious persecution, look no further; This movie is a masterpiece.

Summary: Two Jesuit priests travel to seventh century Japan to locate their missing mentor.

7. A Monster Calls (2016) (PG-13)

Genre: Drama, Fantasy

Directed By: Juan Antonio Bayona

A Monster Calls

I don’t know how many of you have seen Bridge to Terabithia, but my God that movie was sad. Apparently, however, the movie industry was not content leaving me a sobbing loon, and wanted to give me another push to becoming dehydrated from loss of water through tears. I was pretty choked up about Bridge to Terabitha, but this movie made Bridge feel like going to the refrigerator after filling a bowl with cereal and realizing you have no more milk. Yeah, that kind of sadness. I don’t mean to dissuade anyone from watching this movie. It is a beautifully filmed example of coming to terms with loss, and the “Monster” itself provides a healthy dose of mystery to the plot. I cannot stress enough how much I recommend this movie, if only for the perspective it offers, bur make sure you have tissues and a gallon of ice-cream at the ready.

Summary: A boy whose mother is terminally ill discovers a “monster” outside his bedroom window.

 

8. Man of Tai Chi (2013) (R)

Genre: Drama, Action

Directed By: Keanu Reeves

Man of Tai Chi

Ah yes. Few things can perk me back up like watching two grown men beat the s*** out of each other for no reason. Well, I suppose there is usually a reason, but the reason is usually disproportionate to the amount of whoop-ass being delivered on screen. This film stands out, then, as a rarity in the Kung-Fu Genre. As its name suggests, this film is primarily about martial arts, specifically, Tai Chi. If you’re like me and assume Tai Chi is a super awesome fighting style, let me state that Tai Chi is actually more like Yoga and was designed for exercise, not for fighting. Like most movies set in a universe where  it is perfectly normal for people to kick each other into walls and such (I’m looking at you, Keanu), this movie is fairly light on plot. What it lacks in plot, however, it more than makes up for in tight, close-quarters choreography, and the pure novelty of the fact that, come on, people are getting beat up with Wii Fit moves.

Summary: In Beijing, a young student of Tai Chi discovers a more lucrative use for his skills.

 

9. The Salvation (2014) (R)

Genre: Western

Directed By: Kristian Levring

The Salvation

I have always loved watching westerns. I love a good gunfight scene followed by the rescue of the love interest and the inevitable ride into the distant sunset. This is not one of those movies. If a traditional western is a leisurely walk in a familiar park, this movie is a barefoot walk down a trash filled alleyway behind a 7-11. You’re not gonna be comfortable, you’ve never been in this situation before, and you are sure as Hell going to be relieved when you come out the other side. This film is gritty, starkly realistic, and chock full of tobacco spittin’ straight jaw clenchin’ revenge, and the final act makes the entire thing worth it. I remember actually jumping out of my chair, for one. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart, but this movie has the true heart of an epic western.

Summary: In 1870’s America, a peaceful settler embarks on a quest for revenge after his family is murdered by members of an outlaw gang. 

 

10. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016) (R)

Genre: Music, Comedy

Directed By: Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone

Popstar-Never Stop Never Stopping

I find it hard to believe that anyone hasn’t at least heard of this movie, but if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it. It’s f***ing hilarious.

Summary: When his new album fails to sell records, pop/rap star Conner4real begins to see his entire life collapse around him.

-More to follow

 

I appreciate everyone who checked out this page. If anyone has requests or ideas for top ten lists, or for future content for this blog, feel free to post in the comments section. 

 

Ten Movies Worth Watching (That You Probably Don’t Know Exist) Part 1

I consider myself to have somewhat eclectic taste in movies.

From the war drama to the romantic comedy, I have seen a large variety of movies, some of which that stuck in my mind for weeks. Listed below, in no particular order, are ten movies that I personally believe offer a worthwhile cinematic experience, but that didn’t necessarily receive much fame.

1. Howl (2015) (R)

Genre: Comedy, Horror

Directed by: Paul Hyett

Howl

In case the picture above didn’t make it obvious, this is a werewolf movie. I have been a huge fan of werewolves for most of my life, and truthfully find them terrifying. Unfortunately, with zombie movies and vampire movies taking over the mainstream media, us werewolf fans have been left with a small selection. The good news is that this is one of the most well done horror movies I have ever seen, and it happens to also be about my favorite movie monster. The gore effects and creature design are excellent, and the acting is almost exclusively above average for a horror film. Additionally, the sound designers got the music and atmosphere just right to create an immersing, terrifying experience.

Summary: A group of strangers are aboard a train that breaks down in the middle of a forest. With communications inoperable and the full moon looming overhead, they must decide whether to leave the safety of the train to seek help, or to stay and hope to survive till daybreak.

2. The Lost City Of Z (2017)  (PG-13)

Genre: Biography, History

Directed by: James Gray

 

The Lost City of Z

Truthfully I have never been a huge fan of the “bio-pic” genre. The stories that are told are most usually either fantasized beyond their source material, or they tell a story not worth telling. This movie is one of the few exceptions. If the grand, sweeping cinematography and powerful score are not enough to generate interest, the portrayal of the real-life main character (Percival Fawcett) by Charlie Hunnam is engrossing and complex enough to carry the entire movie. I didn’t feel as though I was watching a film about someone from history, I felt as though I had been transported back in time to watch the events unfold as they happened. Aside from the stunning visuals and outright Oscar-worthy performance, the story that the film is based on is as epic as I have ever seen outside of fiction.

Summary: At the turn of the 20th century, a British Explorer named Percival Fawcett discovers evidence of an ancient, highly advanced civilization previously hidden from discovery. Despite suffering ridicule from his peers, he perseveres in an attempt to prove the validity of his claims. 

3. Shallow Ground (2005) (R)

Genre: Thriller, Horror

Directed By: Sheldon Wilson

Shallow Ground

There are a lot of indie-horror flicks out there, A lot. There are so many in fact, that it has become very difficult for even higher budget films in the indie-horror category to avoid being lost amid the swarm. I stumbled upon this film one day when searching for something, anything new to watch, and immediately prepared myself for the worst (The film looks like it was shot with a magnifying lens duct taped to an Iphone 3G). I have to say though, after getting past the initial shock of shoddy post-editing, I was astonished at the story, acting, and even the low budget special effects in this film. Words of warning for the faint of heart, this movie contains quite a bit of gore (On of the main characters spends the entirety of the film naked and covered in it) and violence. What stands out in the film, however, is the plot, which had me guessing (Which is not a usual for me) until the screen faded to black.

Summary: A naked teenage boy covered in blood appears at a remote sheriff’s location exactly one year after the brutal unsolved murder of a local girl. The sheriff, guilt ridden over his past failures, feels compelled to discover the truth behind the boy’s identity and purpose, and in doing so unknowingly inches himself ever-closer to an unthinkable horror.

4. ’71 (2014) (R)

Genre: Drama, Action

Directed By: Yann Demange

'71

This film is another rarity in the sense that it not only offers a glimpse of a relatively untold true story in a human way, but it manages to tread the fine line between fact and fiction while still maintaining a strong feeling of tension and energy. The lead performance by Jack O’Connel is compelling, and you find yourself quickly becoming invested in his safety as he scurries about in enemy territory, unfamiliar with his surroundings and never knowing who is friend or foe. Don’t take the genre of this film the wrong way, it definitely has the gore and harsh reality of war on display, but unlike traditional war films such as Saving Private Ryan, The focus of the story boils down to one individual and his desperate fight to survive.

Summary: A young British soldier must reach safety after being accidentally abandoned by his unit during a street riot in Belfast. 

5. The Autopsy Of Jane Doe (2016) (R)

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Directed By: André Øvredal

SITE_022615_133.CR2

Although its outward appearance practically bashes you over the head with a blunt object while muttering something about “horror”, this movie actually ended up being one of my all time favorite mystery style movies produced in the last decade. The way that the main characters (A coroner and his son) connect with one another on screen is believable, even heartbreaking at times, and the subtle way in which the mystery unravels kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the film. The score is also excellent, providing the right amount of palpable fear while at the same time remaining subtle enough as to remain unnoticed. If anyone thinking about watching this movie is going to be around cadavers any time soon (Or if you really like cats) you probably shouldn’t  watch this.

Summary: A duo of coroners (Father and son) are tasked with determining the cause of death for a homicide victim who bears no physical evidence of trauma.

 

-More to Follow

 

I appreciate anyone who checked out this page, I will be uploading the second half of the list soon. If anyone has requests or ideas for top ten lists, or for future content for this blog, feel free to post in the comments section. 

Part 2