Underrated movies

Take 1 part Blade Runner, 2 parts Logan’s run, a pinch of Coma, a dash of the Matrix, throw in a page from the short story “The Lottery”, fool all of the critics, have 3 climaxes and what have you got? “The Island” in HD on Roger’s pay-per-view. Its apparently based on a movie called “Clonus”, but is much more. You have been satirized…

Another is “Transporter 2” a Superman flick, confined to the same pit as “Last Action Hero”, for the same reasons.

Can you tell I like movies with chase sequences? Well whatever, criticize me if you like.

Don’t forget to get “Time Tunnel” (1966) on DVD, released last week. Seems a bit cliched after all these years, but its a gorgeous pressing (don’t ask — Japanese term).

5 thoughts on “Underrated movies”

  1. More derivations I noticed in “The Island”: The L.A. scene, from “Metropolis (anime)”, the motorcycle from “Return of the Jedi”, a sight gag from the “Blues Brothers”, the merging of the hunter and the hunted ala “Freejack”. Pause “Tom Lincoln”‘s police record in HD, and you can see that the last guy on the screen was arrested for “Starting a cult”. McCord’s shows “defense sub-contractor” security clearance. There was something fishy about the “mail order” dresses and Jordan’s(the girl’s) subsequent outfit, I need to go back and check. I’m surprised liberals didn’t fall in love with its heavy heavy anti-corporation message (pretty blatantly “rule-less corporatization == nazism”), but done so shockingly it took me a moment to get over the shock. 2nd time through the movie, a lot of the dialog suddenly makes a whole lot more sense, for example when Lincoln 6 echo fires up the motorcycle. The 2nd car chase of 3 was as dazzling as a J-Pop video. The high-fall was also a bit visually dazzling, and there was more detail visible when I went around the 2nd time. There was some great paranoia in there too like when L6E’s friend discusses his suspicions with the “doctor”. I identified with the idealized childhood comment. ..and lastly this whole idea of social (left-wing) paradise vs. free-for-all capitalist (right wing) technical reality has still left me pondering the message. I think perhaps there was none. They simply presented a dull lefty totalitarian “paradise” and compared it to the “reality” of this fantastic movie.

    Also, if you think I’m alone in noticing that 1/2 the folks out there misunderstood “The Island”, here is another blogger who points this out: http://uwmike.com/articles/2005/08/13/the-island

    Anyway, read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Island_%282005_film%29 … this film goes wayyyyy deeper than you think. (Warning: I wrote the stuff about Coma, Blade Runner etc.)

    I’m moving it up to #3 on my top ten of all time list. (1. The Matrix, 2. Rashomon, 3. The Island (2005)).

  2. For fun, I have created my own moving ranking (in order):

    Matrix / Matrix Reloaded (1999) !!/cbf
    Rashomon (1950) (jp)
    The Island (2005) cbf S
    Groundhog Day (1993)
    French Connection (1971)
    Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
    Terminator (1984)
    Blade Runner (1982)
    Road Warrior (1981) S
    Ghostbusters (1984)
    Final Countdown (1980) +
    Blues Brothers (1980)
    Bullit (1968)
    Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
    Casablanca (1942) +
    Seven Samurai (1954) (jp)
    Apocalypse Now (1979) S+
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
    Dr. Strangelove (1964) +
    Batman Begins / Batman (2005/1989/1966) S
    Yojimbo (1961) (jp)
    Man with the Golden Gun (1974) cbf S
    Enter the Dragon (1973)
    Run Lola Run (1998) (de) !!
    Repo Man (1984) !!
    The Corporation (2003)
    Fog of War (2003)
    JFK (1991)
    Brazil (1985) (uk) +
    Twelve Monkeys (1995) S
    Akira (1988) (jp)
    Truman Show(1998) !!
    Koyaanisqatsi (1983) +
    Memento (2000)
    Lathe of Heaven (1980) ** +
    Dark City (1998)
    Alphaville (1965) (fr) ** cbf
    Kiss Me Deadly (1955) !!
    Il Mariachi (1992) (mx)
    The Longest Day (1962)
    2001 (1968)
    Die Hard (1988)
    Ring (1985) (jp)
    Seven Ups (1973) * ** +
    Buckaroo Banzai (1984) cbf
    Tengoku to Jigoku aka High & Low (1963) (jp)   
    Eat Drink Man Woman (1994) (tw)
    [deleted] (1998) (uk)
    Return – Pink Panther/Strikes Again (1975/6) +S
    History of the World Part I (1981)
    Blazing Saddles (1974)
    Toy Story (1995)
    Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
    Short Time (1990) * cbf +
    Used Cars (1980)
    Back to the Future (1985)
    Majo no Takkyuubin aka Kiki’s … (1989) (jp) +
    Mimi o Sumaseba (1995) (jp) “Whisper of the heart”
    Incredibles (2004)
    Citizen Kane (1941)
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) (tw/hk/cn)
    Clockwork Orange (1971) (uk)
    Shiri (1999) (ko) cbf
    Dimension Travellers (1998) (jp) +
    Paycheck (2003)
    Tonari no Totoro (1988) (jp)
    Airplane! (1980)
    Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
    Planet of the Apes (1968)
    Army of Darkness (1993) +
    Dawn of the Dead (1978)
    Total Recall (1990)
    To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) cbf +
    [deleted] (1998) (us)
    Casshern (2004) (jp) * ** +
    Star Wars (1977) +
    Wrath of Khan (1982) S
    First Blood (1982)
    Good Will Hunting (1997)
    A Beautiful Mind (2001)
    {proof} (2005)
    Twilight’s Last Gleaming (1977) * ** cbf +
    Metropolis (2001) (jp) **
    Battle Royale (2000) (jp) * ** +
    Mouse Hunt (1997) cbf
    Money Pit (1986) cbf S
    Taxing Woman (1987) * ** (jp)
    Thirteenth Floor (1999)
    11:14 (2003)
    Alice in Wonderland (1999 – made for TV) cbf S
    Wall Street (1987)
    McQ (1974) ** cbf +
    Bulletproof Monk (2003) cbf
    Capricorn One (1978)
    Omega Man (1971)
    Code Conspiracy (2001) * ** cbf +
    Sneakers (1992)
    War Games (1983)
    12:01 (1993) (made for TV) * cbf +
    End of Violence (1997) cbf
    Cast Away (2000)
    Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
    Lost in Translation (2003) cbf

    ** Limited foreign availabilty
    * limited domestic availability
    cbf Critics had a brain fart
    !! Critics got it?!
    S Sequel/derivative
    + Copyright holder limited distribution at one time or another, or materially changed the movie in subsequent releases. e.g. Casablanca colorized, lawsuits with Panther, Koyaanisqatsi.

    I have deleted 4 for privacy considerations and deliberately left out the likes of Titantic and Lord of the Rings, which I have seen, but do not wish to watch again. The above can be rewatched, are very important and all have changed my life.

    Okay, I added “Lost in Translation” because I hate it so much. The most ridiculous misuse of a trip to Tokyo ever conceived. The most vapid, closed-in misrepresentation of what life is about. The most over-rated romance film (95% at Rotten Tomatoes?!!). Augggghhhh.. some folks sure are stupid. If I’m going to celebrate the miseducation of the clones in the Island with Johansson, I have to include it. Sigh, I guess this means I have to go and watch it for a 3rd time, after I get through the other 100 greats on my list. Imagine me saying: “Scarlet you twit!!!! You’re staring right at Yodobashi Camera!!! Bic Camera (in Odakyu) is right inside the train station you’re standing in!!! The Park Hyatt is right beside the Tokyo Metropolitan government buildings you morons!!!” “The Tokyo subway is the greatest machine ever built!!!” AUGGGHHHHH!!!!

    Anyway, I am quite aware most people feel lonely when they go to a hotel far from home. I don’t.

    http://tokyo.park.hyatt.com/ (The movie is mentioned). Btw, we stayed at the Hilton Shinjuku, which is roughly in the same place and has a similar feel to it. But, I admit it, I was going to book a room at the Hyatt because of LinT. If you want directions to anything, anywhere, just ask the Bell Captain. Good grief.

  3. Okay, now you’ve got my interest really piqued to see The Island. I saw the ads for it and seemed to come and go pretty quickly, so I wrote it off as yet another SF flop.

    I hope I will be pleasantly surprised, but don’t worry, I won’t be all upset if I don’t like it as much as you. Tastes can certainly differ. For instance, I would put “Superman” and “Batman” on my list. Although “Batman Begins” is technically pretty good, I think the original is still better.

    P.S. Hope you don’t mind my putting your list inside a two-column table. It makes it easier to see all at once. :-)

  4. Okay, I changed the Batman entry on my list. Superman was good at the time, and is of great historical significance, but I don’t feel motivated to watch it again unlike the rest on my list. The Island is a derivative work of sorts, it is true, but they started with a movie called “Clonus” made for $250k in 1979. I have not seen it, and don’t want to waste $20 on it just for a discussion, but there is no way “The Island” could be anything like it visually, only in a skeletal structural way. I think The Island is great for people who don’t think the first guy who thinks something up owns the ideas and can block them from you. In fact, if you read the comments from the director of “Clonus” he says “It (Island) looks a lot better”. Like no kidding…

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