There’s not going to be a ton of news, and I don’t cover college football. So, for no other reason than that I feel like it, I’ve decided to raid my DVD (and VHS) collection to bring you 18 Movies that I Own (and by definition love or at least like a lot) that Maybe You Missed. Some of these are incredible movies that maybe everyone has seen, but seeing as how many are now a decade old, I don’t want to take it for granted. These aren’t my favorite movies of all time, just awesome movies that I don’t know whether everyone else is aware of.
If you think a movie on this list is too well known/popular, let me know. I’ll replace it with something else good but more obscure. The Red Violin anyone? Feel free to share your own…do me a favor though, and embed video clips in the comments.
1. The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001
This first one is tough, because it is one of my favorites, and I love it so much that I feel like surely everyone has seen it. Easily the best movie on this list, Tenenbaums is funny and sad and filled with wonderful performances. One of my my all time favorites. My wife and I drove over an hour to see it, and this scene alone was worth the drive and the price of admission. This is my favorite of the Wes Anderson films, though I also own The Life Aquatic (better end than beginning) and The Darjeeling Limited.
2. High Fidelity, 2000
This is another one that might just be too good for this list. If you haven’t seen it, you should. John Cusak’s best movie (even over Say Anything) is the story of a guy trying to grow up and get over the past. I refer to it regularly, and the staff of Championship Vinyl pretty much embodies the spirit of 18to88.com (language NSFW). Like Tenebaums, this actually IS one of my favorite movies ever.
3. News Radio, Season 1 and 2 1995 and 1996
It’s not a movie, but News Radio was one of the great forgotten shows of the 90s. 30 Rock owes a major debt to this brilliant comedy that ended both too soon and too late. It was too soon because of the untimely death of Phil Hartman, but too late because it continued for one season past his death thanks to the unfortunate addition of Jon Lovitz. Here’s an amazing scene from early in the show.
4. The Mission, 1986
Maybe it’s a cheat because it was nominated for so many Academy Awards, but since it only won one and is 20 years old, maybe people haven’t seen it. The amazing and heartbreaking tale of Jesuit Missionaries in Argentina, it’s one of the most beautiful and powerful movies you’ve probably never seen.
5. Nueve Reinas, 2000
Possibly the best Argentine film ever, this is a hilarious and cool story of con-men. It’s authentically porteno, right down to the cons using exact change. This movie just feels like Buenos Aires. Don’t bother with the American remake.
6 & 7. Frank Herbert’s Dune/Children of Dune, 2000/2001
Dune is one of the master works of Science Fiction and along with Ender’s Game and Foundation forms the bedrock of great Sci Fi novels. Dune was crappily adapted in the 1980s by David Lynch, but don’t bother with it. Check out the SciFi Channel’s miniseries adaptation. The first volume is good, but slow. What’s really awesome is the follow up Children of Dune. It covers the second and third books of the series and is brilliant.
8. The Stand, 1994
I’m not a horror fan. I’m not really a Stephen King fan. However, his adaptation of his best book is excellent. The story of a plague and an apocalyptic showdown between the forces of God and Satan is amazing. It was written for network TV, so some of it feels a little dated/cheesy today, but it’s still excellent.
9. The Castle, 1997
Even if you seen the other movies on this list, I’m willing to bet you didn’t see this one. It’s a hilarious, weird, and heartwarming independent Australian film, with a young Eric Bana as a co-star. Go try and find this movie. You’ll love it.
10. Magnolia, 1999
Deb and I almost walked out of this movie during the middle of Julianne Moore’s profane meltdown. But then they all started singing. This movie is painfully hard to watch, but amazing and brilliant and beautiful. It also gave us a saying that has carried us through a lot of dark and bizarre moments. “This is something that happens”. How Aimee Mann didn’t win and Academy Award over Phil Collins still baffles me.
11. Gross Pointe Blank, 1997
If High Fidelity isn’t his best movie, then Gross Pointe Blank might be the best Cusak has to offer. Funny, smart, and existentially insightful, Gross Point Blank has become more meaningful to me as I get to ‘reunion age’. It’s so violent and funny and the soundtrack…
12. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, 1998
Guy Ritche’s first film and the one that helped him land Madonna. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Anyway, the movie is hilarious and inventive with snappy dialogue and a great performance by Jason Statham before he was a mediocre action star. (Language on clip very NSFW!)
13. UHF, 1989
My favorite movie as a teen, Weird Al’s UHF is an insane mishmash of the hilarious and the pointless. The movie features a young Michael Richards before he became Kramer. If you haven’t seen him as Stanley Spudowski, you haven’t lived. This is one of my all time favorite scenes from any movie ever.
14. Gattaca, 1997
This is another one that I feel guilty for putting on this list. Everyone has seen Gattaca, right? One of the best sci fi movies ever made, it’s also the height of Ethan Hawks prowess and has Jude Law right on the cusp of stardom. A moving and powerful film that no one should miss.
15. Return to Me, 2000
One for the ladies, Return to Me stars my favorite FBI agent David Duchovny and is a sweet and funny film. There’s not much to it, but you laugh because the characters are sharply drawn by Bonnie (I always play the disapproving sister) Hunt who wrote the film.
16. Donnie Darko, 2001
Dark, insane, brilliant and haunting, Donnie Darko is a great sci fi movie. You have to fight through its density, but it’s cool if you are up for some reality bending.
17. Waiting for Guffman, 1996
This is a cheat. I had this movie at one point, but now all I own is A Mighty Wind. Waiting for Guffman is waaaay better. The best of the Chris Guest mockumentaries, the escapades of Corky St. Clair in this adaptation of Waiting for Godot are not to be missed. “You are bastard people” is another of my favorite lines.
18. Bonhoeffer, 2003
A little more recent than some on this list, Bonhoeffer is a powerful documentary about the lone voice of reason and faith in Nazi Germany in the 30s. The man died a martyr after living a life dedicated to truth, peace, and God. This is an amazing film.