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
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
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
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)
Directed By: Kristian Levring
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
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
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