Great Movies [not Sci-Fi]

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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Movies that are great or noteworthy. Please provide a little information about the movie - a name alone has little meaning to someone who has never seen the movie.


God's Little Acre
(1958) UR
This rollicking look inside the rural Deep South brings to life the primitive, ribald rustics of Erskine Caldwell's steamy bestselling novel. Both humorous and heartrending, this critically-acclaimed film reveals the hidden passions and violent impulses heating up beneath the hot Southern sun, as well as the warmth and humor of everyday life.
- netflix
 

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  • #2
turbo
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Charly is kind of a sci-fi film (speculative medical/biological plot device), but it is also a touching personal story, love story, and tragedy. It's about a mentally retarded man who is given a treatment that enhances his intelligence. It is based on the short story "Flowers for Algernon". Cliff Robertson was perfect for the lead role.
 
  • #3
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Bikur Ha-Tizmoret (The Band's Visit)
(2007 Israel/France/USA, golden tomato for best foreign film of 2008)

The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra, consisting of eight men, arrives in Israel from Egypt. They have been booked by an Arab cultural center in Petah Tiqva, but through a miscommunication, the band takes a bus to Bet Hatikva, a fictional town in the middle of the Negev Desert. There is no transportation out of the city that day, and there are no hotels for them to spend the night in. The band members dine at a small restaurant where the owner, Dina invites them to stay the night at her apartment, at her friends' apartment, and in the restaurant. That night challenges all of the characters.
 
  • #4
Pan's Labyrinth is a great spanish film. It is set after the spanish civil war and follows a little girl who attempts to find herself a fantasy world to escape the madness surrounding her. It may seem somewhat like a children's movie at first glance but it is not. It is also a very pretty movie.

Mirrormask is a childrens/young adults film written by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. It follows a young girl into a dark surreal Oz like world where she attempts to escape the pain of losing her mother.

I'll see if I can think of more....
 
  • #5
Ivan Seeking
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I've been reviewing the old classics available at netflix. Probably one of my top picks for drama would be Fail-Safe.

Play Preview Director Sidney Lumet transforms the doomsday scenario played for laughs in Dr. Strangelove into a taut thriller. When a computer glitch sends a bomber crew on a suicide mission to Moscow, the U.S. president (Henry Fonda) agonizes over how to stop it. Will Fonda tell the Russians to shoot down the plane? Global thermonuclear war may hinge on his decision.
- netflix
 
  • #6
Danger
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Believe it or not, I'm actually very fond of a couple of musicals. 'Paint Your Wagon' deals with a polygamous family (Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, and Jean Seberg) in prospecting days. It's a lot more complicated than that, but funny as hell and the music is really good.
I also love 'Singing in the Rain'. It's basically about some very talented, and one totally untalented, actors/singers/dancers during the transition period from silent films to talkies.
 
  • #7
Ivan Seeking
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Believe it or not, I'm actually very fond of a couple of musicals. 'Paint Your Wagon' deals with a polygamous family (Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, and Jean Seberg) in prospecting days. It's a lot more complicated than that, but funny as hell and the music is really good.
I also love 'Singing in the Rain'. It's basically about some very talented, and one totally untalented, actors/singers/dancers during the transition period from silent films to talkies.
Not much of one for musicals, but I loved the stage play of Phantom of the Opera [saw the opening in Los Angeles], which is a movie now, and I also thought Moulin Rouge! (2001) was excellent!

Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 Australian/American/British musical-romantic dramedy film by Baz Luhrmann. Following the Red Curtain Cinema principles, the film is based on the Orphean myth and on the Giuseppe Verdi's opera La Traviata. It tells the story of a young British poet/writer, Christian (Ewan McGregor), who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge, cabaret actress and courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman). It uses the musical setting of the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France. The film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, and won two: for art direction and costume design. It was the first musical nominated for best picture in 22 years. It was shot at Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia.
-wiki

The Sound of Music was huge when I was a kid [being that I was a German Catholic], so that movie will always be a bit special to me. I'm not sure what I would think of it were I to see it for the first time now.

Based on a true story, a nun who may not be cut out for convent life, Maria, is assigned as a governess for the now motherless children of the von Trapp family, in Austria, as Nazi Germany comes to power.

It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.

Details of the history of the von Trapp family were altered for the musical. Georg Ludwig von Trapp lived with his family in a villa in Aigen, a suburb of Salzburg. The real Maria von Trapp was sent to be a tutor to one of the children, not a governess to all of them. The Captain's oldest child was a boy, not a girl, and the names of the children were changed (at least partly to avoid confusion: the Captain's second eldest daughter, the third of the seven, was also called Maria). The von Trapps spent some years in Austria after Maria and the Captain married – they did not have to flee right away – and they fled to Italy, not Switzerland. Maria von Trapp is said to have been unhappy with the movie's portrayal of her husband as having been cold and stern prior to her arrival, which she and their children strongly dispute.[2]

During the Cold War, the BBC planned to broadcast The Sound of Music on radio in the event of a nuclear strike on the United Kingdom. The broadcast would be part of an emergency timetable of programs designed to "reassure" the public in the aftermath of the attack.[3]
- wiki
 
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  • #8
Ivan Seeking
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Btw, Nicole Kidman was incredible in Moulin Rouge!... or at least infinitely watchable. Yowza!

http://www.whispermag.co.uk/siteimage/scale/0/0/75547.gif [Broken]
 
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  • #9
The Hoax with Richard Gere is a pretty good one. It is the story of how the infamous Clifford Irving tricked his publisher into believing that he had gotten an exclusive deal to do Howard Hughes' biography. Definitely good if you are interested inn that sort of thing. I'm not sure but I think it is a bit over dramatized and perhaps a bit slanted since it is based on the book written by Irving himself I believe.

And with that F for Fake is a good documentary (after a fashion) by Orsen Welles on the infamous forger Elmyr de Hory. Clifford Irving was a friend and biographer for de Hory by the way. De Hory has to be one of the most infamous conmen of the last century.
 
  • #10
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Dead Poets Society: In my view one of the best and most inspiring films ever made. Its about an English teacher (played by John Williams) who gets hired at a very tight school. He tried to free the kids imaginations instead of just teaching them poetry. He tried to make them feel poetry rather than just memorise.

V for Vendetta: The movie takes place in England where a religious dictator has taken power after an some terrorist attacks. It is a bit like 1984 by Orwell. A guy wearing a Guy Fawkes mask is trying to liberate people. Its a very inspiring film about ideologies and freedom.

Jungle Book: I guess I will never grow up. I just love this animation. Brilliant music and humour.
 
  • #11
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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0319061/" [Broken]

I'll stop there, but that's an extremely short list of some movies you should see before you die. :P
 
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  • #12
Ivan Seeking
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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0169547/" [Broken]
That one surprised me. I didn't expect to like it, but I did.
 
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  • #13
Ivan Seeking
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Beware the Wiki spoilers [if you follow the link] if you might want to watch.

The Ninth Configuration

The Ninth Configuration, (also known as Twinkle, Twinkle, "Killer" Kane) is an American-made film, released in 1980, directed by William Peter Blatty (most famous as the author of The Exorcist). It is often considered a cult film and it won the Best Screenplay award at the 1981 Golden Globes. The film is based on Blatty's novel, The Ninth Configuration (1978) which was itself a reworking of an earlier version of the novel, first published in 1966 as Twinkle, Twinkle, "Killer" Kane!. The initial 1966 publication of the novel featured an exclamation mark at the end of the title, while all subsequent publications saw it removed.

The first half of the film has the predominant tone and style of a comic farce. In the second half, the film becomes darker as it delves deeper into its central issues of human suffering, sacrifice and faith. The film also frequently blurs the line between the sane and the insane.

Colonel Kane (Stacy Keach), a Marine psychiatrist suffering from nightmares, arrives at a castle in the American Pacific Northwest where shell-shocked and insane soldiers from the Vietnam war are being treated. The castle's staff has been unable to control the patients, many of whom are suspected of faking their illness to get out of combat. The permissive Kane opens himself up to listen to anything the soldiers have to say to him in an effort to heal them, while at the same time suffering from his own demons.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ninth_Configuration

Jacobs Ladder

Jacob's Ladder is a 1990 psychological thriller / horror film directed by Adrian Lyne, based on a screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin. It stars Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña, Danny Aiello, and Jason Alexander. Actor Macaulay Culkin appears briefly in an uncredited performance.

Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) is a U.S. soldier in the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam War. When the story begins, helicopters are passing overhead, carrying supplies for what seems to be preparations for a big Viet Cong offensive. Without any warning, Jacob's unit comes under fire. The soldiers try to take cover but begin to exhibit strange behavior for no apparent reason. Jacob attempts to escape the unexplained insanity, only to be bayonetted by an unseen enemy.

The film then shifts back and forth from Vietnam to Jacob's memories (and hallucinations) of his son Gabe (Macaulay Culkin, uncredited) and former wife Sarah (Patricia Kalember), and to his present (set in 1975) relationship with a woman named Jezebel (Elizabeth Peña) in New York City. During this latter period, Jacob faces several threats to his life and has severe hallucinatory experiences...

As the hallucinations become increasingly bizarre, Jacob learns about chemical experiments performed on U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. One of his old army buddies is killed in a car ignition explosion. At the funeral, his surviving platoon-mates confess to Jacob they too have been seeing horrible hallucinations. Jacob is then approached by a man named Michael Newman (Matt Craven), who claims to have been a chemist working with the Army's chemical warfare division in Saigon where he worked on creating a drug that would increase aggression in soldiers...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob's_Ladder_(film [Broken])
 
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  • #14
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A Japanese movie: Kisaragi
Funny, funny, funny movie! "Kisaragi" is a hilarious comedy about a 1-year anniversary memorial party for a D-list idol Kisaragi, attended by five men from an online chat room. The idol is said to have commit suicide, but one of the attendee suspect someone in this group is the murderer, and finger pointing begins!

The entire movie is arguments between these five men in the same room, with couple of imaginary reenactments scenes. It almost feels like watching a stage play. I don't want to spoil, but this movie has one twist followed by another, and the ending is pretty deep, though there was an Otaku-dance that was really stupid. What surprises me most though, is that the scriptwriter actually came up with a story as unique as this one. The setting for this movie is so crazy, and so are the characters, yet completely feasible in real life and their arguments are constructive. The characters' gradual developments were really entertaining for me, and their love toward this D-list idol was beautiful. All five actors played their parts very well.

This is an unique movie that really delivered. This film explores the power of the human imagination, ambitions, and desires. The story was so well-organized and gives us a conclusion that makes perfect sense with the information given. I hope to see another surprising movie like this in the future.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1158278/


All the movie is about 5 men talking about the dead girl in a dark rented room in a time span of less than one day. It was quite unique and interesting.
 
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  • #15
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One more.
"[URL [Broken]
Let the Right One In[/URL]

That was by far the best movie I watched in 2008, and definitely on my top 10 list. It's about a 12 year old boy named Oskar who finds a girl he likes (she's the same age or younger, as I remember). She drinks blood, though. It's amazing. Watch it.
 
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  • #16
I'm not going to give descriptions even though you wanted them but just to add:

-Se7en
-Devil's Advocate
-10 Things I Hate About You
-Pump Up the Volume (maybe a guilty pleasure)
-All of the Jersey Chronicles (Kevin Smith)
-Garden State
-Casablanca
-American History X
-Clear and Present Danger
-The Insider
-Saving Private Ryan
-Adaptation
-The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (arguably sci-fi)
 
  • #17
Ivan Seeking
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Thanks, but there is nothing interesting about reading a list. Why don't you pick your favorite and post a bit about it?
 
  • #18
Danger
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'Charly', as Turbo pointed out, is an incredible movie. I've mentioned it before a couple of times in different threads. There are two things that make it unique. One is that translations from one form to another usually result in disappointment. I first read the short story 'Flowers for Algernon' (written by Daniel Keyes) back in the mid-late 60's and absolutely loved it. The publishers asked him to expand it into a full novel, and it was just as good (although he removed a couple of scenes from the original). It was something that I considered unfilmable, but be damned if they didn't manage it and the movie was just as good as the written forms. It was also the only SF movie in history to win a Best Actor award. Cliff Robertson was awesome in it.
Although 'Charly' is just about tied with it, my absolute favourite movie is 'Birds of Prey'. It was a CBS made-for-TV film in '72. It stars David Jensen (the Fugitive) as a helicopter traffic reporter, and former Korean War fighter pilot, who encounters a bank robbery in which the baddies make their escape in a Westland Gazelle chopper. The ensuing cat-and-mouse sequences, especially the aerial ones, are stunning.
I suspect that not many PF'rs other than Fred, Turbo, Cyrus, and other aviation nuts will love it as much as I do. I'm sure that Hypatia has probably seen it, since it used to play on channel 2 in Detroit at least a couple of times a year back in the 70's.
I finally found a copy on line and bought it. The only thing that's wrong with it is that they ruined one of my favourite aspects. The hero kept singing 'Three Little Fishies' along to the radio, and the DJ played it especially for him during his adventure. In the DVD that I received, they changed it to some form of classical music. It totally changed the show for me. I can only assume that there was some copyright issue with using the original music.
Whoa! 'Muppets from Space' just started, and I've never seen it before. Don't anybody bother me for the next couple of hours.
 
  • #19
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The Ninth Gate - Mystery / psychological thriller starring Johnny Dep for anyone who enjoys the allure of old books.

Straw Dogs - Showcases a very interesting interplay between newly wed couple (Dustin Hoffman, a mathematical physicist) and his hot wife, which steadily builds up to a gripping climax

the Weather Man - An interesting look inside the midlife crisis of a weather man who has nothing left to lose. Very well played by Nicolas Cage - not just an action star.

Quest for Fire - A movie from the perspective of Cave Men that does a surprisingly good job of not seeming too fake or ridiculous. It shows the human side of things in a whole new light.
 
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  • #20
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I'm not going to give descriptions even though you wanted them but just to add:

-Se7en
-Devil's Advocate
-10 Things I Hate About You
-Pump Up the Volume (maybe a guilty pleasure)
-All of the Jersey Chronicles (Kevin Smith)
-Garden State
-Casablanca
-American History X
-Clear and Present Danger
-The Insider
-Saving Private Ryan
-Adaptation
-The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (arguably sci-fi)
+1 Great list, especially the first, sixth, eighth, eleventh, and last movie.
 
  • #21
Being John Malkovich is a rather strange surrealist film about people who find a secret doorway into John Malkovich's head and become addicted to taking his body over. Fittingly the main character is a puppeteer. I don't remember much else about it at the moment.

Burn After Reading I have mentioned in another thread. It is a satire on the typical CIA action thriller (not an action thriller itself though) and is rather dry and absurd so it may not be most people's cup of tea. It follows a low level CIA office worker who quit his job and whose work data from his computer was copied to disk and found by a ditzy gym worker who thinks she can con money out of the ex 'agent' for its return. Stars: John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Brad Pitt, and George Clooney.
 
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  • #22
Ooo.. I almost forgot.

Brick is an Indie film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt from 3rd Rock from the Sun. He plays a highschool kid investigating the supposed suicide of his good friend which he believes was actually murder. It is somewhat of an absurdist dark comedy with pulp noir spin. If you watch the trailer you'll get a better idea. Definitely a movie that I would consider for a top ten favourite.
 
  • #23
Danger
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  • #24
Ivan Seeking
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The Ninth Gate - Mystery / psychological thriller starring Johnny Dep for anyone who enjoys the allure of old books.
So we have The Ninth Configuration, The Ninth Gate, and from the Sci-Fi thread, The Nines.
 
  • #25
Ivan Seeking
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The Mothman Prophecies was surprisingly good. It is allegedly based loosely on real events, and to a certain extent that is true, but how much of the story is pure fantasy is anyones' guess. Apparently there was such a reporter making similar claims associated with a real bridge collapse, but beyond that, who knows. The book on which the film was based gets into all sorts of stuff never mentioned in the film. It was far more exotic than even the movie, which is way out there. Nonetheless, as pure entertainment I thought the film was quite good - an unexpected surprise.

Richard Gere plays John Klein, a hot-shot Washington, D.C. reporter whose life suddenly takes a different turn after he and his wife, Mary, (Debra Messing) are involved in a car accident. Although she suffers a non-fatal head injury, Mary's CAT scans show that she has a brain tumor diagnosed as glioblastoma. Shortly after her death, John discovers an assortment of cryptic drawings that she had made of a strange creature.

Two years later, while driving to Richmond, Virginia, John becomes lost and inexplicably finds himself almost five hours off-course, arriving in the small town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. He soon becomes entangled in the personal stories of some of the residents, and in a chain of mysterious events, whereby local townspeople report strange supernatural encounters, along with weird lights and phone calls. With the help of the town sheriff (Laura Linney), John begins to investigate the encounters and determines that the common link is an apparently supernatural creature known as the Mothman, whose appearances seem to foretell disastrous events. Things take a decidedly personal and frightening turn when he realizes the eerie connections between his wife’s drawings, eyewitness accounts of the Mothman, and phone calls from an other-worldly, seemingly malevolent entity named Indrid Cold.

The Mothman becomes a personal obsession for Klein. He meets a Mothman expert, Alexander Leek (Alan Bates), who convinces him that there may be a tragedy in store for the small town...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mothman_Prophecies_(film [Broken])



,
 
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