5 Underrated Films You Must Watch

Below is a list of films you may or may not have watched that some people including myself have deemed them to be underrated but are equally watchable and brilliant.

1. Interstate 60 (2002)

600A majestic film that has to do with existence and our purpose in the world, you may recognize certain stars in this film including Gary Oldman playing the “genie” guidance role, A fascinating and thought provoking film that is recommended for repeat viewing, the music throughout accompanies the movie perfectly and the flow is also brilliant as well as inspiring, highly recommended.

2. The Party (1968)

the20partyOne of the funniest films ever made, hilarity ensues when Peter Sellers playing a famous Indian actor gets invited by accident to a lavish Hollywood party, the pace of the film is terrific and you cannot help but laugh at the limited but outstanding scenarios in one space, make the comedies of nowadays seem small in comparison to this film, and if there was a remake it wouldn’t come close, an extraordinarily funny feature.

3. Equilibrium (2002)

equilibrium-2Christian Bale stars in what is perhaps one of the most action filled and carefully planned films of all time. Kurt Wimmer’s film set in the distant future where all forms of feeling are illegal, Christian Bale who is a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system in absolutely spectacular fashion. The gunfight scenes are some of the greatest since “The Matrix”, one to see purely for the combat and “1984” style plot.

4. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Basic CMYKAn ultra-cool mystery crime caper starring Val Kilmer & Robert Downey Jr in what I believe is the movie that helped relaunch his career, fantastically written by Shane Black who also directed and wrote the new Iron Man film, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a modern noir which brings mutually together a private eye, a struggling actress, and a thief imitating an actor. Smart as well as funny, it is an entertaining film purely to watch for the chemistry of Kilmer and Downey Jr as well as for the performances, slick, clever & well-acted.

5. What Dreams May Come (1998)

what-dreams-may-comeA deeply engrossing and vision of a film it tells the story of Robin Williams who dies in a car accident (shown in trailer) link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmZ-FuBThuQ

Not aware that he is dead his vision of the afterlife is that of his wife paintings, the film shows the undying bond between a man and his wife and how an individual envisions the afterlife. Extremely visionary to say the least, Robin Williams gives a great performance and the scenery depicted in the film is certainly not too bad either, a must watch.

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10 Foreign Films that Hollywood should stay clear of and not remake

Below are a list of films that thrived in their chosen country of release, Hollywood recently has ran out of ideas for original films and instead they have either expanded the superhero genre or recycled the same Disney analogy over and over.

The following films should remain untouched by Hollywood or if they are to be remade should be remade correctly and stay true to the craft of the original film, Notable mentions that were made well include “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”  “The Departed” (Infernal Affairs), “Insomnia”, “Vanilla Sky”..

Here are the great ten that should not be remade:

1.    “Hodejegerne” Headhunters (2011)  Country of origin: Norway

headhhdAn intense action thriller featuring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones), it follows a skilled head-hunter who also acts as a thief stealing valuable pieces of art, but when one heist goes wrong he is hunted by a former mercenary in what becomes a thrilling cat & mouse game. If there is an American adaption it shouldn’t steer away from the original storyline but stay true to the action brilliance of this film.

2. “Cidade de Deus” City of God (2002) Country of origin: Brazil

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This masterpiece from Brazil follows the lives of teenagers who grow up in a violent neighbourhood of Rio De Janeiro, what ensues in their coming years is some of the most intense scenarios ever, beautifully shot, this film should remain timeless as it is, I know most of you agree but there is a little curiosity if there is to be a remake, there certainly has been similar films like this but a direct remake should remain off the cards,A masterpiece of modern filmmaking.

3. “Kung-Fu Hustle” (2004) Country of origin: China & Hong Kong

kung-fu-sokagi-izleFeaturing some of the most outlandish and exciting fight sequences, this outrageously entertaining film from Stephen Chow showcases gangsters at wars with residents of small housing complex, highly fantastic, this is one that should remain untouched and if you haven’t seen it already I highly recommend.

4.Amelie” (2001) Country of origin: France

le-fabuleux-destin-d-amelie-poulain-originalIf you have seen Amelie you can argue that this film cannot be remade into any other language, and a Hollywood version should no way be in contention, this brilliant film should remain untouched, it is unique in its own form and an American version should no way be even considered.

5.“Shichinin no samurai” “Seven Samurai” (1954) Country of origin: Japan

Film_2w_SevenSamuraiAlthough a remake has been green lit for next year, it is a very bad move on Hollywood’s part, a sort of remake was made as a western “The Magnificent Seven” but a direct remake should not even be contemplated, considered to be director Akira Kurosawa’s greatest work, if a remake should be made, it should be a tribute and instead of adapting to Hollywood, notable Japanese directors should take the helm if they wish to touch a significant film such as this one.

6.La Haine” (1995) Country of origin: France

la_haine_3Quite possibly one of the most intense French films ever made, it stars a young Vincent Cassel as a youth along with two others that explore Paris in 24 hours, it takes place in riots between citizens and the police. With more recent events taking place around the world, it is easy to see why Hollywood would want to remake this, jumping at the opportunity to adapt it in the modern times during the escalating protests taking place around the world; the whole film takes place in black & white but set during the present time, this does not take away the pure intensity, a classic that has to be seen and felt.

7.“El secreto de sus ojos” “The Secrets in their Eyes” (2009) Country of origin: Argentina

The-Secret-in-Their-Eyes--006A mystery thriller which takes over a number of years in which a detective goes back to solve an unresolved case which brings to light more than he could have anticipated, beautifully shot with an air of mystery & suspense, it would be easy to see why Hollywood would want to tackle a challenge like this one, if done right this could be a great crime remake, the main focus throughout the film are the eyes of each character along with the incredible detail of its brilliant plot.

8. “Ichi The Killer” (2001) Country of origin: Japan

ichi_killer_poster_05[1]Now here is a film that I know for a fact that Hollywood would not even touch due to its extreme graphic nature, Hollywood at best would cut most of the scenes in this brilliant film to even gain an R-Rating (18 UK).

For those who have seen it time and time again, you can argue that you don’t even wish for this film to be remade and also would argue how Hollywood would even tackle this project, Anything outside of United States does not even care if their films are not marketed extensively, some purely rely on word of mouth to reach its cult status, Ichi the Killer is such of a film that has no chance of an English remake.

9.Metropolis” (1927) Country of origin: Germany

metropolis1This sci-fi masterpiece was an absolute landmark when it was released even looking back at it now the pure futuristic setting is one to behold, a massive challenge that was undertaken by Fritz Lang, it would be ridiculous to consider a remake of it because one would take away its significance and would not look modern at all, a Japanese animation of Metropolis was released in 2001 but Hollywood should not go for a remake due to its original importance nearly 90 years ago, a ground-breaking achievement.

10. “Akira” (1988) Country of origin: Japan

Akira-Poster-akira-13827694-1013-1500One of the most important anime films of all time, a lot would argue that this film should not even come close to a Hollywood remake, its sheer complexity in animation should reinforce it as such, some of the scenes witnessed in this film is fantastic to the spectator, although studios have been trying hard to adapt into a live action film, time and time again it has been shut down, maybe even for the greater good, but it is not long before we do see a Hollywood remake whether we like to or not, I for one would not want to.

The enormous size of such of these films should be handled with care, and a remake must stay honest to its originality, in order to do so, studios must take on creative consultants of the original films and they must try their absolute best not to steer far away from their fundamental narrative only then a remake is worthy of the film’s tribute.

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Frank Darabont The Skillful Character Cultivator

Continuing this director showcase where we previously left off, moving on to number two of the 23 best directors in the world, an individual who brings the best out of actors and a quite consistent director creating classics and adaptions on the big screen is Frank Darabont.

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His first feature film having made three different types of features before including a TV Movie “Buried Alive”, a short “The Woman in the Room” & a straight to video release“Nightshift Collection”.

His first feature film which had was nominated for 7 Oscars but shockingly not winning any at all! “The Shawshank Redemption” remains an all-time classic, nearly 20 years after its release I simply cannot get enough of this masterpiece, a bonding story over a number of years between prison inmates played by Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins.

The two onscreen looks exquisite, acting as if no cameras are even around but the presence of a director is felt- Darabont, that is one his characteristics bringing out the best in actors, it is a brilliant gift in which he possesses.

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Throughout this film the story flows effortlessly, each actor is fantastic in portraying their role, for a directorial debut this is certainly one of the best in recent memory, Darabont quickly stamped his mark on Hollywood but sadly not winning any awards for this film, it would remain iconic in every film fan’s record.

This would also make one the best adaptions on screen since Stephen King’s “The Shining” , directed by the equally brilliant Stanley Kubrick.

Shawshank can even make the most masculine of people shed a tear, it remains a debut benchmark that Darabont has achieved and serves as a lesson for any young aspiring filmmakers out there that a directorial debut if done brilliantly like Darabont sets the road for that directors forthcoming success.

Just when we thought that Darabont could not continue what he had started and spectators within audiences thought to themselves how he could possibly follow this up?

At approximately five years later Darabont would release yet another Stephen King adaption but an absolute gem of a powerful drama “The Green Mile”.

Darabont had done it yet again, he brought out the best in characters, their chemistry on screen and the unsettled atmosphere within the story had been achieved, receiving an R-rating (Rated 18 in UK), certain scenes were not for the faint of heart, depicting scenes of execution and unsettling emotion,

Darabont had tapped into the pure emotion of the audience, everyone had sympathised with John Coffey played phenomenally by the late Michael Clarke Duncan, we had felt equal emotions on screen, identical even, the power of Darabont had struck again.

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What you notice in his last two films is that the films flow smoothly, you enjoy them and you witness magic being made on screen, having not only directed the films Darabont also likes to contribute greatly to the script, in The Green Mile set in Louisiana and with a running time of just over three hours (which pass by) this feature made the four years’ worth waiting for,

The camerawork is absolutely superb and holds your attention through the very end, the cast is likewise wonderful and the direction flawless, the marvellous actors and the peaceful yet steady pace of the film held my attention increasingly through the three hours right to the touching culmination, Frank Darabont had managed yet again to bring the best out of his actors featuring Tom Hanks, James Cromwell, David Morse amongst others,

Those who read the book would have no arguments that the characters stood out of the page and they would have no disappointments in how Frank Darabont had handled the adaption.

Shortly after he would release another film starring Jim Carrey, although not one of his best work it tells the story of a blacklisted Hollywood writer who gets into a car accident and loses his memory before then settling down in a small town where he is mistaken for a long-lost son.

MV5BOTI2NjkzMTkxM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMzM2MjA5._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Frank Darabont challenges the principles of a community before bringing them together, Jim Carrey plays his role brilliantly reminiscent of Truman, Jim Carrey plays a drama version of himself in this touching film, an underrated feature with elements of Darabont, one of his lighter films in terms of intensity, a satisfying picture with great performances yet again.

Frank Darabont had waited six years before he released anything again but his 2007 film “The Mist” had shown us what a powerhouse he is in terms of characters and how terrifying human beings can become when faced with a terrifying reality.

The Mist tells a story of a freak storm which unleashes a species of bloodthirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens take shelter in a supermarket fighting for their lives, but surprising as it may seem this is yet another Stephen King novel projected very magnificently on the screen.

In terms of character development this is one of the finest Darabont films since his debut, to portray the decaying timeline of certain people in this film, the characters quickly transform, not in terms of physical appearance, but in terms of psychological and mental appearance, it shows a truly disturbing reality of how unsettling we as humans can respond and adapt to a harrowing environment around us.

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With most of the film showing the characters being held up in supermarket they have a limited space to work with but witnessing such a scary timeline of uncertainty in their eyes and their behaviour, the characters are even so real it’s frightening..

The Mist is an underrated marvel, the ways in which individuals handle tragedy after tragedy and the ending nothing short of astonishing which I would not reveal on here, this is a masterful and suspense filled feature which I highly recommend.

This film will make you feel unsettled as you watch it scene by scene, it is unpredictable and truly distressing, in the case that the characters you once knew on the screen have been completely disturbed by the eerie situation manifesting around them, Darabont had made a welcome return to the screen by yet birthing another Stephen King novel.

Three years would pass before we would hear anything from Frank Darabont again, but he would make an unorthodox jump onto TV where he would lend his hand on making and producing an iconic TV show, this time based on a comic book series.

“The Walking Dead” would bring the elements of the existing comic book characters but with Darabont giving his personal characteristical touch, if you had witnessed his previous films you will already be used to his style of character approach and it becomes apparent throughout the seasons of this show but In July 2011, Darabont stepped down from his position as show runner for the series.

He is currently working on a screenplay of a Godzilla reboot scheduled to be released in 2014, but don’t rule out a directorial feature of this individual as he is sure to channel another Stephen King novel in the coming years.

Frank Darabont truly knows what goes into making a character and then selecting the appropriate individual to portray that character and then getting the best out of them,

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This is what makes him more than a film director his method of also writing screenplays adds to his skill of building a character from the ground up, sure enough he has an individual in mind when creating that character and he manages to keep that persistence and consistency when projecting that character on screen and manufacturers something splendid and equally vivid, a specialist filmmaker that really knows how to get to the heart of character and keep it alive, a unique film author.

“I think once you’ve finished a movie you really have to detach from it so that you can come back and watch it as an audience member..”

-Frank Darabont

Christopher Nolan The Master of the Modern Film Noir

There are few film directors today that have defined a decade of filmmaking, films which ignite debates and where moments are repeated by both word and image, Christopher Nolan has showcased in his own idealistic style why he is important to the film industry, and why he is vital in the survival of how films are made and how they become eternal through time.

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His first full feature length film Memento intertwines mystery and suspense, what Nolan chooses to do with it? – Have the film go non-chronological of course, he isn’t your conventional film director, he is what an author would be if a book was written while been filmed at the same time.

Contributing to screenplays as well as his directorial prowess, Memento gives the audience and the individual spectator a chance to participate in the film and solve the case as well as the protagonist Leonard played by Guy Pearce in the film, a character lost and confused while he tries and finds out who murdered his wife. Memento showcases the very best of Early Nolan and does it on a heavyweight scale even though the budget was under nine million dollars. The film takes us on a gripping journey in which we try and solve but Nolan being Nolan don’t expect an easy ending for a twist is always around the corner with this influential director.

Just two years after Memento was released Nolan follows up with another mystery starring Al Pacino & Robin Williams, an unconventional cast Nolan makes the most of it and delivers a great thriller based on the remake of the same name Insomnia.

A detective thriller set on a slightly bigger scale remade into a Nolan style, it has its moments of Nolanism with its twist and turns and brilliant still camerawork, Nolan manages to pull off a great remake of the same name of the 1997 Norwegian thriller while using two great actors side by side of Pacino and Williams.

For three years the director remained absent in Hollywood, he had picked up a project to reboot, a superhero series, a series that had been made well before in the past with Burton at the helm but Nolan wanted to offer his touch to it and deliver a momentous superhero trilogy that would remain untouched and locked in the memory as one of the finest superhero trilogies ever made.

2005 the year and so it had begun, Batman Begins showed what Nolan had in store for us, offering his noir and mysterious touch in his previous features, although it had made the least money out of the three films in the trilogy it had paved the way of something big to come, something much much bigger.

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People were sceptical at first that another Batman film was in the works but Nolan had shown us on screen that this trilogy was his, that he would own these films with his cemented directorial style, encompassing drama, action, suspense and mystery, The film had portrayed Batman as a detective who showed justice while knowing various martial arts techniques, Gotham was dark and gritty and the cast was perfectly picked to deliver a first class first part of a trilogy that would start something great prodigious.

After this The Prestige followed Nolan’s directorial feature timeline, a film that showed magicians at war, both Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman were brilliant in the roles as deceiving and mysterious individuals and this film came with plenty of twists and turns, Michael Caine also remained a loyal counterpart in his second appearance of five to come in Nolans later films.

Just when we thought the art of magic was an easy going occupation Nolan showed us all the darker and clandestine elements of it, set in London in the 19th century it shows the hunt and execution of the ultimate illusion and our hunt for the ultimate discovery in a film that would challenge us in its deception and enigmatic dexterity.

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One of Nolan’s very strong efforts and his oldest films in terms of its established timeline, Nolan had shown us a London in the 1900’s a very different one at that and with magicians at the epicentre of it he had delivered a durable, brilliant mystery while incorporating factual settings and Nolan being Nolan again challenges the audience to discuss the film in more detail, and to come up with their own conclusions and explanations. (It’s just what he does!)

After a two year break from directing, in that time since The Prestige Nolan had been working on a film that would launch him into the stratosphere and establish him and this film as a monumental achievement in terms of both comic book to film and how superheroes films were to be made today.

The Dark Knight which was Nolan’s fifth feature film paved the way, the film had become an instant game changer in terms of how comic books would be made into films, it had featured a great mystery within the film and a brilliant but dangerous cat and mouse (Bat & Joker) game with The Joker & The Batman, never before had such a film drifted so much attention away from the protagonist. Heath Ledger’s portrayal easily challenges Nicholson’s but bearing in mind these films were made at different periods and different styles but also a different approach to the character.

Nolans Dark Knight resembled a graphic novel and a mysterious one at that, it had participated the audience and challenged responses and debates about the film, it had become a film that you could never tire from, and Nolan had put his stamp down in his own directorial heavyweight style, the directorial brilliance of this film had enhanced the characters in every sense making them stand out of the screen especially the manipulative, sadistic Joker.

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When a director transforms an actor into an unrecognizable one that’s when you know he had performed his duty, and in this case there is absolute no exception. A momentous and astonishing comic book feature that would bring and set up a brilliant finale to a great trilogy but the second in the trilogy still remains the greatest superhero film of all time.

Inception which challenged the full idea of the origins of dreams as well as the subconscious mind was Nolan’s heist film in a way but in the case of Nolan it was an enriching and perplexing experience in the greater sense that made for repeat viewing.

A great cast as always in the case of Nolan films this film had mastered the idea of searching within your dreams and taking control of them, manipulating them to your advantage and gain. Sure we had seen films made from dreams in the past but not in the great and magnitude of a scale, Nolan had a massive budget to work with but he used it well and again he had challenged the audience with a brilliant ending that would spark again a debate amongst people, its Nolan loves to do, leave it to the audience to decide what happened.

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Inception was a mystery pushed to the full, a mystery on a brilliantly large scale that showed us an imaginative and wondrous world created from our minds or in this case Nolan’s mind. Lucid dreaming plays an important part in this film which is the ability to control your own dreams as you become aware in them, the feature had questioned our own ability in dreams and had made us research the origins of them, what truly makes us project these realistic illusions and portrayals of our minds and what would they look like on the big screen, Nolan had shown us an epic mystery feature that would again challenge our ability to handle yet another fantastic Nolan feature.

The time had become to experience a finale with the Batman trilogy being the first of Nolan’s creation, he had made fantastic films in between and he would set up a great finale featuring one of the darkest comic book heroes.

The Dark Knight Rises which came out in 2012 saw the end of the Batman franchise or the Batman reboot, Nolan knows great casting and in this film he had cast Tom Hardy as Bane shown in his previous film Inception, but Tom Hardy had been transformed into a brilliant and clever monster.

This would be regarded as the blockbuster Nolan film and Hollywood had now taken attention of his true directorial power, this film featured a large scale explosion as seen on the trailer but not seen in previous Nolan films, the only thing I would remember is the car chase scene in The Dark Knight, but in my opinion The Dark Knight Rises had been a fitting finale incorporating Nolan’s idealistic and brilliant directorial touches, he had created a brilliant trilogy that would remain immortal and untouched until someone decides to reboot Batman yet again, which I don’t see happening for a while.

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Christopher Nolan’s next feature film will come in a years’ time out in 2014, Interstellar which is an examination of scientist Kip Thorne’s theories of gravity fields, as well as other numerous theories that Einstein couldn’t prove, but before all that we would all witness how he approaches Man of Steel  as a writer and producer we will certainly see shades of Nolan but not being a director in this film we can’t help but feel the inspiration that will emerge from him within this film.

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Christopher Nolan has remained an influential figure in the master class of filmmaking and his films are proof of that, he has created an outstanding feel to his films, ones that intrigue and challenge us, no doubt in my mind that he is one of the best directors in the world right now and we cannot wait to see what vivid, dazzling and magnificent films he has in store for us next, In just fifteen years he has become a name in Hollywood that most directors both established and up and coming seek to aspire too, a glorious filmmaker, writer and storyteller.

“But I have been interested in dreams, really since I was a kid. I have always been fascinated by the idea that your mind, when you are asleep, can create a world in a dream and you perceive it as though it really existed…”

-Christopher Nolan