Cilantro, Pac-Man, name brand clothing and The Dallas Cowboys, what do these things have in common? If you answered that they are all overrated, then you are correct, and you are also my new best friend. For every overrated thing that gets unworthy praise from the masses there are thousands of things that don’t get the love they deserve. I am here to right this wrong. Since us here at Smack My Flick Up claim to be knowledgeable in the movie arena, I will keep my defense of the overlooked and underrated specifically to films (though I could write an essay on the fact that new socks are better than most things in the world). With (hopefully) weekly installments, I am going to expose you to awesome movies you (possibly) have never seen. Game time:
The Rules of Attraction (2002)
A veritable Chex Mix of sexuality, violence and tragedy, “Rules” follows three intersecting stories at a small college. Sean (James Van Der Beek, seriously) is a senior who sells drugs and takes advantage of everyone. Lauren is an innocent girl who falls for Sean. Paul is an innocent boy who falls for Sean. This obviously leads to hilarious and uncomfortably inappropriate interactions between them. Combine the fact that it is written/directed by the co-writer of Pulp Fiction and that Victor’s Euro montage is one of the best scenes ever, this is certainly a must see. Plus, anything with Jessica Biel in it is worth watching.
The Great Escape (1963)
British and American POWs, all with specific skills, conspire to escape from their current German prison camp. This is one of my all-time favorite movies. With a crazy good cast (Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence and James Coburn) the story doesn’t even have to be fantastic, but it is. It’s funny, exciting, you get to see Americans make Nazis look stupid, and did I mention Steve McQueen is in it? At nearly 3 hours, it’s certainly a time commitment but you will never ask for that time back. Well, maybe you’ll want some time back when you want to watch it over and over again.
Boiler Room (2000)
Lazy but brilliant Seth has always disappointed his family but when he gets a new job at an investment firm, his life starts going perfectly. As he gets deeper into this new world, everything appears to be too good to be true. Smart writing, a great starring performance from the wonderful Giovanni Ribisi and a memorable Alec Baldwin in Glengarry inspired role by Ben Affleck highlight this intelligent thriller. Come back Ben Younger, we can forget about Prime if you can! Oh yeah, Vin Diesel is in it too so it could probably make the list for that fact alone.
The Lady Vanishes (1938)
After taking a nap following a meeting with the elderly Miss Froy, Iris awakens to find that Froy has disappeared from their train. With the help of the charming yet sexually aggressive Gilbert (don’t worry, it was cool back then), the two attempt to discover the whereabouts of Miss Froy. In a perfect world none of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies would be underrated but that world would also never have seen the invention of the Snuggie so, here we are. Did I forget to mention that this is a Hitchcock movie? Here he rocks the perfect blend of comedy and mystery, certainly one of his best.
Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)
Having experienced the terrors of war, Richard returns home to his solitary life. When he learns that his mentally challenged brother was taken advantage of by local bullies during his absence, he seeks to exact revenge at any cost. The always awesome Paddy Considine gives a terrifyingly brutal performance which is supported admirably by his cinematic brother, Toby Kebbell. A fantastic finish and drug induced horror scene prove that you should never fuck with crazy English military personnel.
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