Thursday, December 25, 2014

Overlooked and underseen

So often bad things happen to good movies. They get orphaned by their distributors, are overhyped, underappreciated or otherwise underseen. Here are some recentish titles worth catching.

Overlooked and underseen

Simon Baker dances with Sanaa Lathan in "Something New."
Simon Baker dances with Sanaa Lathan in "Something New."

So often bad things happen to good movies. They get orphaned by their distributors, are overhyped, underappreciated or otherwise underseen.

Every so often Flickhusband and I watch a movie on cable and he asks, a trace of reproach in the question, "Why wasn't this a hit?

It happened again last night with Taking Woodstock (2009) Ang Lee's droll study of repression and liberation centering on the young man instrumental in connecting promoters with Max Yasgur, whose farm was used for the legendary music festival.

Other recentish (as in since 2000) movies definitely worth a first look or second sight. A lot of them star Evan Rachel Wood:

Across the Universe (2007): Julie Taymor's magical mystery tour of the Beatles songbook is set during the antiwar protests of the 1960s and co-stars Wood and Jim Sturgess.

Boiler Room (2000): Giovanni Ribisi makes cold-calls at a maverick brokerage trying to get investors to throw good money after bad. With Ben Affleck and Vin Diesel.

In Her Shoes (2005) Curtis Hanson's sprightly adaptation of the Jennifer Weiner novel about two Philadelphia sisters, the brainy one (Toni Collette) and the pretty one (Cameron Diaz).

King of California (2007): Fresh out of a mental institution, Michael Douglas ropes daughter Wood into digging for a treasure buried under a big box store.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) Edgar Wright's delightful adaptation of the graphic novel about a Toronto slacker who must best his beloved's exes in order to win her heart.

Something New (2006) Sanaa Lathan, a button-down corporate accountant, wonders where all the smart, black men are when she is pursued by a free-spirited landscape architect (Simon Baker), a smart white guy.

Your nominations?

About this blog
Consider our Movies blog your essential guide to new movies and classics, interviews with filmmakers and stars, news and views on the latest screen trends, reviews and the occasional rant.

Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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