As there were no new releases this week in which I was interested, I have decided to give a few recommendations on films that you may have never seen and in turn, I’m asking for your recommendations.
So, in no particular order, here are five films that I enjoy that you may have never seen.
Them – 2006 – Directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud.
This is an example of a simple story that when directed by someone with a talent for creating an eerie atmosphere becomes an unnerving film. This French film was originally marketed as a completely true story, including a mock news reel available on the film’s web site. Clémentine and Lucas, ready for a weekend away from work, retire to their isolated home. Clémentine is awoken in the middle of the night to a strange noise and the film gains speed from there. If you are someone who has a fear of being alone in a large house or if you have a fear of home invasion, skip this one. Otherwise, it is a great example of an atmospheric piece from France. If you enjoy this and want something a little gorier, also check out Frontiers, another French horror film.
Blood In Blood Out: Bound By Honor – 1993 – Taylor Hackford, director of An Officer and a Gentlemen, Proof of Life and Ray.
Hackford’s film follows half-brothers Paco and Cruz and their cousin Miklo. Miklo is half-white and half-Hispanic. Unfortunately for Miklo, he appears to be white, having received his father’s white skin. From his mother he received a love of his Hispanic heritage. Miklo doesn’t fit in his father’s world and he is not readily accepted by the Hispanic group of his family. Miklo goes to great lengths to prove himself and thereby become a member of the “Vatos Locos” gang. The film follows the family for thirty years and shows how three different people’s personalities lead them to react to a single event in drastically different ways. It is a long film, but the story is beautiful. Also, this is the first place I ever remember seeing Billy Bob Thorton, Benjamin Bratt, Delroy Lindo, Ving Rhames, Danny Trejo and Lanny Flaherty.
Eurotrip – 2004 – Jeff Schafer, only because the director’s guild forced the trio of writers/directors to select an individual director.
Eurotrip follows Scotty and Cooper, two high school friends on their trip to Berlin to meet Scotty’s beautiful German pen-pal. Originally titled Ugly Americans, Scott Mechlowicz, Jacob Pitts, Travis Wester and Michelle Trachtenberg are joined by some outstanding cameos. Full of cultural misunderstandings and hilarious situations, watch for Vinnie Jones. This is the one you have most likely seen, but I have found that there are enough people who haven’t seen this one and need to be informed.
If Lucy Fell – 1996 – Eric Schaeffer
Sarah Jessica Parker, Eric Schaeffer, Elle McPherson and Ben Stiller star in a romantic comedy about a pair of friends that decide that if they are not in stable relationships by a certain date that they will jump off of The Brooklyn Bridge. If Lucy Fell is mostly about the characters and partially about the dialogue. This is one of the few romantic comedies I enjoy and while some parts of this one seem contrived, like most rom-coms, I think the dialogue makes up for it. Parker plays Lucy, a role that doesn’t annoy me like most of her roles do. Schaeffer is quite funny and I’m surprised he hasn’t been in more films. Ben Stiller plays Bwick Elias, an artist that is out of touch with everything. Also, keep your eyes open for a VERY young Scarlett Johansson.
Triangle – 2009 – Christopher Smith
Another horror film? Yes, horror is my genre of choice. I wouldn’t feel right without providing a horror heavy list. Triangle is about a group of passengers on a yacht. When the yacht is no longer safe because of weather conditions, the passengers jump onto a passing cruise ship, only to find that they are in much greater danger. Not much more can be said without spoiling this one. Triangle is not the best horror film ever made, but it has inspired more conversation than most horror films in recent memory, except for Martyrs (which I can not recommend, even though I liked the film). Love it or hate it, chances are, you will talk about it.
I’d like to hear from you. What film do you really enjoy? It doesn’t have to be the perfect film, just something that you love that many people haven’t seen.
Images: StudioCanal, Hollywood Pictures, DreamWorks, TriStar, Icon Film Distribution