Sunday, November 21, 2010

Under-rated Movie List

I traveled alot for my job during the 80's & 90's and missed quite a few movies that came out during this time: however, due to VHS technology, I was aware and did see most of the major movies of those decades. What I discovered later are 5 films that were not big block busters, even critically panned in some cases, that I believe are worth seeing. The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are dropping, sometimes it's just nice to make a pot of soup and have a movie night/weekend. Here are my suggestions for movies that you may have missed and I believe are worth seeing:

The first is the 1994 film "Don Juan DeMarco" starring Marlon Brando, Faye Dunnaway, and Johnny Depp. The film is about a psychiatric patient (Johnny Depp) who believes that he is the world's greatest lover, Don Juan DeMarco. He is being treated by a doctor played by Marlon Brando who, despite his reputation as a phenominal actor, some critics complained just walked through this movie and brought down the overall ratings of the film. My belief is that the movie is less about the Brando character and more about Johnny Depp's charcter. It's a fantasy, it's charming, and different (bordering on oddball). You can't help but fall in love with Johnny Depp in this film - afterall, he is the world's greatest lover and women cannot resist him.


Benny & Joon is the 1993 comic romance about two oddball characters Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Sam (Johnny Depp) who fall in love despite her mental illness and his out-of-reality behavior. Joon's brother (Aidan Quinn) has been her caretaker and finds it hard to let go, especially to the oddball Sam who she basically won in a poker game (don't want to give away too much there). Johnny Depp gives some awesome performance in the film without the use of words. His physical comedy is unbelievable and that alone is worth seeing this film.


Heart and Souls was a 1993 release starring Robert Downey Jr. as a yuppie businessman and Elizabeth Shue as his girlfriend that, unknown to him, is "the one". Without giving away too much of the story, something kinda magical and tragic happens on the day he is born and four lost souls are attached to him and watch him grow up and change unsure of why they are there. That's all I am going to say but it is very interesting to watch their individual stories unfold and the affection they have for him after all these years.


This is a 1985 film of mistaken identity where a bored New Jersey housewife (Roseanne Arquette) is drawn into the liasons of two strangers who hook up through a series of personal ads. Madonna plays Susan, basically a crafty drifter who uses people and dumps her problem situations on them, whose "boyfriend" sends his buddy played by Aidan Quinn to help Susan. In the mean time, certain things happen (don't want to give away to plot) where he mistakes Arquette's character for Susan. There are interesting scenes into a New York that I seldom see in film except for small independant film. It's not glossy Manhattan, the hood, or Mafia (although Madonna's chatacter does set the tone of the movie in her first scene by waking up next to a dead mobster) but magicians, and inner-city trend setters and creative people just getting by. It's a fun movie and, to me, probably Madonna's finest until A League Of Their Own.


This 1989 film has four chatacters who are all equally interesting, well-acted, and you want to root for all of them although they are often on opposite sides of the situation. The actors are James Wolff, Glenn Close, Mary Stuart Masterson (so convincing in this role) and Kevin Dillon. It was panned by critics as predictable, and perhaps the childless couple adopting a baby from a young unwed and ill-prepared couple is predictable, but the acting and the characters drew me in and it was all new again. The sound tract to this movie didn't hurt either :)

Speaking of soundtracts, another movie from this era that I can rewatch is The Big Chill. I didn't include it on my list because it seemed more popular, better accepted, than the list of over-looked films I was going for. But, if you haven't seen it, add it to my list - great cast, interesting story and characters.


2 comments:

vivian said...

I'll have to check Netflix (hubby's new hobby) and see if they have them! A cup of soup and curled up on the couch sounds good!

Julie said...

Oh, Vickie...what a brilliant post! The soup and movies here sound great! Loved reading your synopsis of each one! My DIL loves Johnny Depp, and I bet she hasn't seen either of these!!! She is off Wed and Thursday and I will surprise her with one each night after the kids are asleep!!! Thanks!!!

Last of the Vinoy Photos

The view from our room - the waterfront of St Pete and the pool area From the historical wall Fred's - where we ate. It has a sp...