While there are certainly movies among my collection that I consider to be guilty pleasures – Super Mario Bros., I’m looking at you – there are others that I feel are just vastly underrated. I’m not even remotely embarrassed to celebrate my love for these films, and I hope you’re with me – or at the very least, that you’re willing to pop some popcorn and settle in.
The Illusionist came out in the same season as The Prestige, which was unfortunate, because it is a vastly superior piece of storytelling. The Illusionist is atmospheric and lovely, with truly stellar performances by Ed Norton, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell, and Jessica Biel. I’ve never wanted to make out with somebody with a beard more than I do in Ed Norton in this movie. The twist is unexpected but no less real, unlike, in my opinion, the hot mess of no-explanation that was The Prestige‘s climax. It’s a compact, romantic, and deeply satisfying tale.
Time was whenever I was feeling low I would watch Fanboys, and I’m honestly probably due for another viewing. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I celebrate anything that celebrates nerd culture, and this film is unabashedly sweet and generous with its heroes – and lone heroine. I loved Kristen Bell here first, and Sam Huntington, too. It’s a romp and I’m not even sorry about it.
There were a number of moody, dystopian films out for awhile, and Equilibrium takes itself just seriously enough to be a stand out for me. The first time that I saw it my husband and I both marveled at the Gun Kata, which was just silly and spectacular enough to be entertaining. He probably liked it because of math. I just appreciated Christian Bale’s sheer badassery. Also, bonus Sean Bean.
Stranger Than Fiction is my kind of romance, and unlike Ruby Sparks, which I so wanted to love but which made me feel terrible about being a writer and a woman, this story feels real and complicated and ultimately, sweet. Will Ferrell has never been more adorable. Also, Queen Latifah and Emma Thompson. Come on.
When I recently learned that they’re likely abandoning Tron Legacy and rebooting the franchise, again, I was so disappointed. I love the nostalgia of this installment but also everything about it that feels slick and fresh – including Jeff Bridges’ The Dude inspired performance of Flynn. And the music, my goodness, the music.
What about you? Any dark horse favorites?