Last week, I took a look at some of my favorite performances in film by Bill Paxton and I mentioned Twister. Twister is a solid popcorn movie that did huge box office at the time but has kind have been forgotten by the general populace. I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it was a lack of sequels. Maybe it was more forgettable than I considered. So I got to thinking, are there other movies from the 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s that were great flicks but have been forgotten? Some hidden gems that everyone should take another look at? So I dug in and got to thinking but I set a couple of rules.
- It had to be a movie I loved at the time.
- Still had to hold up well.
- No direct sequels.
Now to be fair, unlike Twister, a lot of these weren’t blockbusters but I think they are worthy of being watched again. With that in mind, I set about digging up these hidden gem films, hopefully giving you something new to watch. Let’s start with an honorable mention.
Honorable Mention: Interview with the Vampire.
Originally, this film was on the list. This was the movie that proved to me that no matter how much I might not like the religion to which Tom Cruise belongs, the dude is a great actor with an eye for great projects. Brad Pitt stars as the vampire Louis, recounting his life as a vampire to reporter Christian Slater (in a part originally to be played by River Phoenix). The film also stars Tom Cruise as Lestat, one of my favorite vampire characters of all time, and Kirsten Dunst in one of her first roles. A terrific movie that not only captures the feel of the book amazingly well but also cuts a lot of the fat, leaving a lean, well paced flick.
So why did I cut it? I had completely forgotten that there’s sort of a sequel, Queen of the Damned, which doesn’t have Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt and unlike Interview, is a big piece of shit (to be fair, Queen of the Damned was also one of the weakest books in the series). It may not even be a true sequel but it was close enough that Interview didn’t make the main list.
4) Sky High
Sky High, a family film from Disney about a non-powered kid from a superhero family who has to go to school with the sons and daughters of other superheroes. Think a high school flick but with super villains threatening the school. I remember leaving the theater just loving this movie. It had Kurt Russell as the father (doing his once a decade Disney film that I swear he does in an effort to make sense of Walt Disney’s last words). This was Harry Potter for kids who grew up with superheroes as opposed to wizards. I’m still kind of surprised Disney never revived the property as a cartoon.
3) Brotherhood of the Wolf
I remember the day I came home, went on Ain’t It Cool News and saw the post that held the trailer for Brotherhood of the Wolf (the English version of the trailer) and I was sold. I didn’t know anything about the film (I recognized only one actor), but I knew I had to see it. I wouldn’t be able to until the DVD release but it was worth the wait. The movie is a little hard to explain but it’s about a detective in 1776, investigating a series of murders by some sort of monster in France. The detective is accompanied by a Native Canadian sidekick (who kicks a lot of ass) and discovers a lot more is going on than some monster eating people. It has a great amount of atmosphere, action and is just a solid flick. Worth seeking out if you like dark, weird, kung fu flicks.
2) Dark City
This almost didn’t make the list due to its cult following but I can’t resist a chance to tell people to go seek this movie out. The best film Alex Proyas has ever made, it has an amazing sense of style and design, a great story and despite all of it’s moving parts, really comes together well. It’s a dark, spectacular vision of a filmmaker who was ready to give this film his all. To describe this movie almost gives it away which is part of the fun. Rufus Sewell is trying to find his way home but instead, finds something sinister in the city in which he lives.
1) The Game
The Game has become kind of the lost David Fincher film. The film was released between Seven and Fight Club. In my opinion, it’s one of the high points of Fincher’s catalog. The film follows Michael Douglas’ Nicholas Van Orton as he participates in what he first thinks is a game but then turns serious and deadly very quickly. The Game is well directed and kind of an evil version of It’s a Wonderful Life. Honestly, while it may not be as visually impressive as Fight Club or his later films, The Game is just a better movie.
Now to you dear reader: Are there hidden gems you would like to share with the rest of the class? If there is, post it in the comment section below and if we get enough suggestions, maybe we can revisit this topic again.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!