I was complaining the other day - actually, it might have been a couple of months ago - whenever the Academy Awards were - that all the big press comes out for the big movies - your Transformers, your Lincolns, your Alvin & The Chipmunks - you know, the big tour-de-forces that drive the movie business. But what about the little guy? Well, I know what you are thinking: if there is one thing that I am known for, it is being a champion for the little guy. Especially when being a champion means watching movies and then literally just typing while drinking a slurpee. I am a champion.
I present to you some movies that have been overlooked. These are not big-budget movies (and they are not new releases), but if you are flipping around on TV and realize that there is nothing on, check out these shows if you want something different.
Moon (2009): It always annoys me when some guy comes along and directs his first movie and it kicks ridiculous ass and then I discover that he is the son of someone famous. I'm always thinking, "yeah, if I had famous parents, I would be a successful film director too!" and then I realize that I am wearing pajamas and eating cheezies while complaining instead of working hard. Sorry, mom. I will no longer blame you because I slept in until 11:00 am on the weekends.
Anyway, where was I? Right - Moon. It was directed by Duncan Jones, who happens to be David Bowie's kid. Arrgh. How many geniuses does this family need? This movie stars Sam Rockwell, who I think is a great, great actor. He's it. He's the whole movie. It's a science fiction movie about a guy who works on the moon. It also stars Kevin Spacey as a robot. I don't want to give anything away, but some weird stuff happens on the moon to Sam Rockwell who is working up there. All is not as it seems.
If you liked 2001: A Space Odyssey, you will love this film. It is big on plot and acting and no bounty hunters get lasered or phasered.
Man On Wire (2008): This movie actually did win an Oscar, but no one really knows about it. This is one of the greatest documentaries ever. It is the story of a crazy high-wire walker named Philippe Petit who, with the help of his crazy buddies, strung a tightrope in-between the World Trade Center Towers and then walked out on them.
The whole movie is plot and mystery. The buddies aren't sure about the crazy french guy, the crazy french guy is on a unicycle and juggling, and then suddenly they are lugging 1,000 pounds of equipment up flights of stairs to the roof of the World Trade Center. It is a beautifully-shot caper movie that really shows how insane the whole idea was - and it worked! I am a huge fan of Philippe Petit and his interviews in the movie are worth the time - his face lights up at the thought of being arrested.
The Cove (2009): If you find that you have too many dry hankies in your house, consider this movie about the Dolphin slaughter in Japan. This film has a really important story to tell (about where food comes from and how it gets to your dinner plate) and from a pure entertainment standpoint, the plot is really interesting. A group of activists join together like a G.I. Joe task force, complete with infra-red technology, spies and guys slinking around at night trying not to get caught. It is a really great movie, although it is impossible to get through without sobbing uncontrollably. So don't watch this one on your birthday or if you have to be out in public later. But if you want to educate yourself about the struggles that some activists are facing, this is an absolutely amazing film.