Saturday, August 12, 2006

An Intejected Hidden Gem Alert (August 2006)

Hi Kiddies!

Welcome to the third instalment of the Hidden Gem Alert! Like last time, as well as the time before that, interjected every six months into this mix of reviews we have films that may not have made the cut for the Top 5, but they're little known sleeper hits and if you haven't heard of these little known films, you really should check them out, becuase they're definitely sleeper hits. This time I'm not including any Silent Era Stuff, that'll get it's own post when I'm done my study...

It's a mighty long list to chose from, having found myself quite lucky of late, not to mention that I've seen less of the mainstream, hence increasing my 'films that not everyone's heard about' quotient.

In all cases, to read more about the film in question, simply click on the title, as it's linked to the original review. Here we go:

The Bitch (1931) - 88% (A Bitch of A Good Film)

Let's begin with the most Hidden of the Gems directed by the man above, Jean Renoir, a film that I was only able to find in one store in the entire city, but having it in my film list of Biblical proportions, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, meant that I had to find it, no matter the cost. The Bitch is an old film but it's still relevant and a completely amazing study of the pettiness of people who walk all over those who let themselves get walked all over. It's so darkly funny, it's awesome.

The Proposition (2005) - 88% (Allow Me To Insist)

Written by songwriter Nick Cave, The Proposition is a truly raw look at justice as seen through the eyes of law-makers and law-breakers alike. Without exaggeration, this film will make strides in the industry by adding a rugged truth to life in the Wild of the Wests, doing for the realism of Westerns what Saving Private Ryan did for the realism of the War Epic. With some of the best acting I've ever seen, this film adds a nice twist, being set in Australia.

The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada (2005) - 84% (Dead Ringer For A Good Film)

The epitome of 'sleeper hit', this film stars Barry Pepper, an actor who seems to fit nonchalantly as an oak amongst the towers. This is also Tommy Lee Jones' directorial debut, and using a script written by Guillermo Arriaga (21 Grams, Amorres Perros) this is a terrific semi-western film about loyalty, justice and the Border Patrol.

The Secret Agent (1996) - 88% (Truly A Mystery That Need Be Revealed!)

Joseph Conrad wrote this, and if you don't know what other books he's written that have been inspirations to little know art-house films, then Heart Of Darkness might ring a bell, or by the title the film went by, Apocalypse Now. Yeah. So why haven't you heard about this one? Ultimately, period pieces seem to fall by the wayside in deference to the modern day stuff I suppose, but this is full of great actors, like Patricia Arquette, Robin Williams and Christian Bale. This tale of the mission of an Agent Provocateur is all about the moral of the story, and it's certainly an important one.

Lucid (2005) - 84% (A Real Eye-Opener!)

This was a tough choice for fifth place. What film would people most be moved by more? 2LDK, a very obscure tale about two girls trying to rip each other apart? Perhaps a little more mainstream hilarious comedy that people MIGHT have heard of, like Thank You For Smoking? Then I saw it. Lucid, a Canadian Thriller with amazing acting and a suspense ride that isn't slow in its build-up. This well-written tale uses dark imagery and real thrills rather than cheap scares and a predictable twist. I can tell you that all the people I saw this with also found it amazingly fun and gripping. Do yourself a favour and rent this one.
There you are, now run off and see them, and thanks for reading!