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Minor" Masterpieces

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Minor" Masterpieces

Old 11-29-07, 12:13 PM
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"Minor" Masterpieces

I'm referring to the under-the-radar movies that aren't necessarily known by everyone but are the ones that have unanimous praise among the people who know about them. Probably the most famous example I'm thinking of is the Coen brothers' Miller's Crossing. Some that come to mind:

Talk Radio - possibly my favorite Oliver Stone movie besides JFK and Natural Born Killers.

Jackie Brown/Death Proof - two Tarantino films with split opinions that I both love to death; I'd actually rank the latter on par with Reservoir Dogs.

Straight Time - arguably Dustin Hoffman's best performance, unavailable on DVD until this year.

Sorcerer/Cruising/To Live and Die in L.A. - all movies by William Friedkin that get less mention than The French Connection and The Exorcist, but which I find just as important.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia - not as famous as The Wild Bunch, but I'll argue that this was the most influential Peckinpah movie for the way it foretold the coming of John Woo and the Tarantino generation.

The Last Temptation of Christ/After Hours - two unconventional Scorsese entries that are quite possibly his best films aside from his four most famous ones (Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Departed).

They Live - yes, I call this a "minor masterpiece." On one hand, it's the greatest guilty pleasure movie of all time, one that cancels out guilt, but on the other, it's an ingenious little satire from John Carpenter. My favorite of his aside from The Thing.

The Long Goodbye - one of my favorite movies ever; arguably the forerunner of 70's neo-noir.

I'd also like to point out that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is quite possibly an instant minor masterpiece from when I first saw it, and that this year, three of my favorite films (Black Snake Moan, Zodiac, and The Darjeeling Limited) can be considered this IMO.

Anyone else have some other hidden or underappreciated gems?

Last edited by Zen Peckinpah; 11-29-07 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Hit Enter button too quickly
Old 11-29-07, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Zen Peckinpah
The Long Goodbye - one of my favorite movies ever; arguably the forerunner of 70's neo-noir.
I agree; it's fantastic.

Spike Lee's 25th Hour seems to have this status. Minor or not, it's certainly a masterpiece.
Old 11-29-07, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Zen Peckinpah
I'd also like to point out that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is quite possibly an instant minor masterpiece from when I first saw it, and that this year, three of my favorite films (Black Snake Moan, Zodiac, and The Darjeeling Limited) can be considered this IMO.
completely agree here. One of the most criminally overlooked movies in recent years. I love this film
Old 11-29-07, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Zen Peckinpah
I'd also like to point out that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is quite possibly an instant minor masterpiece from when I first saw it, and that this year, three of my favorite films (Black Snake Moan, Zodiac, and The Darjeeling Limited) can be considered this IMO.

Anyone else have some other hidden or underappreciated gems?
100% agree. One of the most underrated films I've ever had the pleasure of watching and I recommend it to everyone I know, most of whom stare at me and have no idea what movie I'm talking about.

I'd like to put my vote in for Rules of Attraction. Maybe I'm a Bret Easton Ellis fanboy but I think it was a MUCH better adaptation of his novel than American Psycho.
Old 11-29-07, 04:35 PM
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^ Then put me down for American Psycho. I absolutely LOVE that movie.

My actual personal pick would be River's Edge. Great Twin Peaks-esque drama starring Keanu Reeves and Crispin Glover. In fact, director Tim Hunter helmed a few episodes of Twin Peaks based on the strength of that film.

Last edited by islandclaws; 11-29-07 at 05:38 PM.
Old 11-29-07, 04:57 PM
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I'd add to that Come and See (Idi i Smotri).
Old 11-29-07, 05:34 PM
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I would add Beautiful Girls, a movie that gets a lot of love here on DVDTalk but isn't very well-known outside of it. Fantastic roles by Michael Rapaport and a young Natalie Portman.
Old 11-29-07, 05:35 PM
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The Iron Giant is one in my books.
Old 11-29-07, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
I'd add to that Come and See (Idi i Smotri).
That's known as a masterpiece among cineastes.
Old 11-29-07, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Zen Peckinpah
I'm referring to the under-the-radar movies that aren't necessarily known by everyone but are the ones that have unanimous praise among the people who know about them. Probably the most famous example I'm thinking of is the Coen brothers' Miller's Crossing. Some that come to mind:

Talk Radio - possibly my favorite Oliver Stone movie besides JFK and Natural Born Killers.

Jackie Brown/Death Proof - two Tarantino films with split opinions that I both love to death; I'd actually rank the latter on par with Reservoir Dogs.

Straight Time - arguably Dustin Hoffman's best performance, unavailable on DVD until this year.

Sorcerer/Cruising/To Live and Die in L.A. - all movies by William Friedkin that get less mention than The French Connection and The Exorcist, but which I find just as important.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia - not as famous as The Wild Bunch, but I'll argue that this was the most influential Peckinpah movie for the way it foretold the coming of John Woo and the Tarantino generation.

The Last Temptation of Christ/After Hours - two unconventional Scorsese entries that are quite possibly his best films aside from his four most famous ones (Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Departed).

They Live - yes, I call this a "minor masterpiece." On one hand, it's the greatest guilty pleasure movie of all time, one that cancels out guilt, but on the other, it's an ingenious little satire from John Carpenter. My favorite of his aside from The Thing.

The Long Goodbye - one of my favorite movies ever; arguably the forerunner of 70's neo-noir.

I'd also like to point out that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is quite possibly an instant minor masterpiece from when I first saw it, and that this year, three of my favorite films (Black Snake Moan, Zodiac, and The Darjeeling Limited) can be considered this IMO.

Anyone else have some other hidden or underappreciated gems?
Zen - I completely agree with your comparison on Death Proof and Reservoir Dogs.
Old 11-29-07, 07:58 PM
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Gotta love "Blood Simple" and "Miller's Crossing"...Great call on "Straight Time"...If you haven't done so already; check out Kubrick's "The Killing", if you like "The Long Goodbye" you'll love "The Killing"
Old 11-29-07, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by colbyw
Gotta love "Blood Simple" and "Miller's Crossing"...Great call on "Straight Time"...If you haven't done so already; check out Kubrick's "The Killing", if you like "The Long Goodbye" you'll love "The Killing"
The Killing is fantastic!
Old 11-29-07, 09:21 PM
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Memento -This film is just amazing. Nolan gets all the love from the fans, the media and I'm sure the studios for Batman Begins but Memento is still his best.

Umberto D. -Might not exactly be considered minor, but when you think of films of Vittorio De Sica the one that always comes to mind is The Bicycle Thieves, a masterpiece in it's own right, however, Umberto D. is the superior film.

Nights of Cabiria -Again, this film doesn't come up when talking about the great Federico Fellini. It is my favorite and a superb one.

Red Beard -Akira Kurosawa, that guy that made those samurai flicks. Well, Kurosawa made some great movies that didn't involve Toshiro Mifune gripping a sword. Red Beard is a very powerful film that I was highly impressed with. Same goes for the criminally underrated High & Low.
Old 11-29-07, 10:00 PM
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Almost Famous - Fantastic film
Old 11-29-07, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
Red Beard -Akira Kurosawa, that guy that made those samurai flicks. Well, Kurosawa made some great movies that didn't involve Toshiro Mifune gripping a sword. Red Beard is a very powerful film that I was highly impressed with. Same goes for the criminally underrated High & Low.
The Bad Sleep Well

And I will also add:
Eyes Wide Shut
Rumble Fish
Old 11-29-07, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by inri222
Rumble Fish
How could I have forgotten this? It's probably what snagged Mickey Rourke the consideration for Sin City.
Old 11-30-07, 12:25 AM
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I'd like to add Revenge and True Romance by Tony Scott. Both are favorites of mine that many aren't familiar with (many Tarantino fans aren't even familiar with True Romance)
Old 11-30-07, 12:41 AM
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The Duellists (1977) - Ridley Scott first directed film is a masterpiece. Amazing cinematography, great performance by Harvey Keitel and Keith Carradine despite their American accent in mostly British casts.
Old 11-30-07, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Rypro 525
I'd like to add Revenge and True Romance by Tony Scott. Both are favorites of mine that many aren't familiar with (many Tarantino fans aren't even familiar with True Romance)
True Romance is great, great, and more great.

I've never seen Revenge...should I see the director's cut or the theatrical? I've heard meh things about the latter, but my interest piqued when I heard Tarantino was a fan.
Old 11-30-07, 09:56 AM
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Years ago in preparation for being locked indoors all weekend with a massive snowstorm heading my way I hit the local video store and picked up four movies, all of which looked interesting:

Zero Effect
The Tao of Steve
The Spanish Prisoner
Beautiful Girls

All of which I think in their own way are brilliant little gems. It was probably the best blizzard I've experienced.
Old 11-30-07, 03:12 PM
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Before Sunrise, Gattaca, and the Korean Memories of Murder are a few of mine.

I too love Miller's Crossing, but am not a fan of The Killing due in large part to the obnoxious narration.
Old 11-30-07, 08:12 PM
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Europa, Europa.
Old 11-30-07, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bhk
Europa, Europa.
My wife loves that movie.
Old 12-01-07, 02:40 AM
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A Perfect World by Clint Eastwood - his excellent follow-up to Unforgiven.
Old 12-01-07, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Zen Peckinpah

I've never seen Revenge...should I see the director's cut or the theatrical? I've heard meh things about the latter, but my interest piqued when I heard Tarantino was a fan.
the dc moves at a faster pace (its about 20 minutes shorter) and deletes alot of the back story. But that was Scott's request. Also there are more explicit shots of the sex scenes. Also the commentary is amusing since Tony Scott sounds like an old perv drooling over Madalyne Stonne throughout the commentary. I prefered the dc, since i thought the pacing was pretty slow in the original version.

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